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Free Delivery Could Boost Retail Sales in Wales

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Shoppers in Wales are particularly keen on free deliveries and a straight forward user experience finds new research by Barclays. Shoppers in the region reckon that they buy only 39% of the products that they save to their shopping baskets. When asked what would encourage them to buy what they save to their baskets, 41% of Welsh shoppers said the offer of free deliveries would help.

Shoppers in the area are also more likely to shop using their iPad/tablet or personal laptop compared to the rest of the UK: 47% of Welsh respondents shop using their personal laptop compared to the national average of 45% using this type of device. Across the UK, the research finds that retailers may be losing out on valuable sales because consumers are finding it difficult to complete transactions using their mobile phones. This is leading to the phenomenon of ‘device switching’ where consumers browse for products on their mobile phone and then switch to another device, such as a laptop to complete their purchases.

The findings are from the Barclays Corporate Banking Online Retail Report, From Browse to Buy: The Conversion Challenge and are based on the views of 300 senior retail managers, 2,000 UK consumers and economic modelling. The study found that through investment in basic techniques, British retailers could cut basket abandonment in half by 2021 and boost retailer profits by £10.5bn over the next five years.i

Caroline Buckner, Head of Retail for Barclays in Wales said:

“At a time when cost management is a priority, it’s understandable that investment in mobile optimisation may seem too expensive for many retailers. However, our research underlines the longer term benefit of providing easy to use options across all online platforms. By adapting quickly to the needs of today’s consumer to create a better shopping experience online, and particularly via mobile, retailers will boost their sales.”

“If they get their online strategy right, we could be looking at UK retailers selling more that £80bn of stock online by 2021, but that will only happen if as an industry we respond to what the public want from us. This research shows that a streamlined mobile offering, flexible delivery and competitive pricing can help convert more browsers to buyers.”

Nationwide trends

Across the UK, British retailers are losing out on £3.4 billion worth of goods left in virtual shopping baskets each year. Consumers switching from mobile phone browsing to laptop purchasing, a lack of discount incentives and desire for a variety of delivery options are key reasons for ‘basket abandonment’, according to the research.

At an uncertain time for the retail sector, the report estimates that investing in measures that encourage purchase conversion would cut basket abandonment in half by 2021.

Furthermore, instead of fiddling around with mobile sites that aren’t optimised, or wasting time searching through a difficult to navigate website, 614 million hours of time could be saved over the next five years. There are productivity benefits too to the tune of £4.2bn, as time is freed to work or spend on the economy.