UK consumers prefer to make expensive purchases in store rather than online, reveals new report

A new study conducted by PushON has revealed some interested stats about UK shopping habits that offer up good news to physical MI stores.

The report found that almost two thirds of consumers are unwilling to make expensive purchases online and prefer to spend larger amounts in store.

PushON’s study of 1,000 UK consumers found that 62% of shoppers would rather buy pricey, considered purchases in store, rather than online.

A massive 82% believed that store purchasing gave them more security when shopping for expensive items, claiming that this is because they can see exactly what a product looks like before committing to the purchase.

This is music to MI retailers’ ears as online retail has boomed over the years and high street footfall has been difficult in recent times. Although there’s no denying that online shopping platforms pose a threat to many physical retailers’ businesses, it’s great to hear that there is still demand for physical stores when it comes to larger purchases – a category which expensive and higher-end instruments certainly fall into.

Despite this need for physical stores, the research found that the internet still has a part to play before goods are usually purchased.

When deciding on a purchase, 47% said they would prefer to research products online to help them make a decision, but would then opt to go in store to buy because they have the option of asking for help from customer service assistants.

In fact, 79% revealed that they had seen an expensive product online that they have liked, but have then gone in store to make the final purchase.

Despite online sales increasing year-on-year, shoppers have a limit as to how much they will spend over the internet. Over a third (39%) of consumers admitted that they will spend a maximum of £1,000 online, but would feel safer handing over larger sums of cash in person.

“Consumers seem to feel very comfortable researching expensive products online, because they can compare a lot of options in a small amount of time without having to travel to lots of different shops,” said Sam Rutley, managing director at PushON.

“But the issue lies with when they come to make the final purchase, as many don’t currently feel confident doing this over the internet, mainly because they can’t see what the product looks like in real life.

“With customers reluctant to spend large amounts online, this limits the types of sales that retailers can make through their websites. Of course, this will have a greater effect on those retailers that sell higher value purchases, such as cars, kitchens or furniture, and could drastically lower their online sales.”

This research was carried out as part of PushON’s ‘Webrooming vs Showrooming report’, which looks at consumers’ shopping preferences and how they prefer to buy considered purchases.


About Laura Barnes 427 Articles
Founder/Publisher of UK musical instrument industry publication MI Focus.