Quality is king, 80% of UK online shoppers prioritise experience over bargains

Quality is king, 80% of UK online shoppers prioritise experience over bargains

Cisco AppDynamics, a leading provider of Application Observability and Application Performance Monitoring technology, has today announced the findings from a global survey of over 12,000 consumers across 12 countries, including the UK. The survey explores consumer intentions, behaviours and preferences when it comes to online shopping during the holiday season.

The UK findings – from a sample of 1,001 consumers – reveal a substantial shift towards online shopping this year. On average, UK consumers anticipate that three-quarters (76%) of their total spend will take place online rather than traditional in-store purchases.

Interestingly, while there is a strong preference for online shopping over in-store this year, the research indicates that this trend could easily be reversed if consumers don’t receive the level of digital experience they now expect. 65% of shoppers also state that if their chosen shopping apps and digital services underperform, they're more likely to return to in-store shopping.

Online spend is on the rise this holiday season

As the global cost of living crisis intensifies, consumers are increasingly seeking discounts and budget-friendly deals during major shopping moments like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, they are gravitating towards online shopping, with 38% believing it offers more choices than in-store and 31% hoping to sidestep last-minute panic buying in physical shops.

Timing is crucial for UK consumers, with 21%revealing they have less time for Christmas shopping trips this year. For almost one in four (24%), the biggest driver for online shopping was being able to shop outside of normal retail hours or at convenient times on their phones, and a further 15% admitted to doing their holiday shopping during working hours.

This represents a huge opportunity to attract new customers and drive revenues, but the pressure on brands and their IT teams to deliver seamless digital experiences is also higher than ever before.

Commenting on the study, Cisco AppDynamics’ Executive CTO EMEA, James Harvey said, “With greater numbers of shoppers planning to spend a bigger proportion of their holiday shopping budgets online this year, retail leaders will be looking to maximise this opportunity. But they need to recognize that in order to do this, their applications and digital services must be operating at peak performance at all times. Consumers will only want to buy from retailers that are able to offer both great deals and seamless digital experiences.”

Online shoppers have little patience for slow or subpar applications, especially when hunting for the best deals within their budget constraints. In fact, more than half (57%) of consumers say retail brands have one shot to impress them this holiday season, and if their digital service or application does not perform well, they won’t use it again.

Address heightened demand through application observability

The findings highlight the importance of application observability solutions which are critical for retailers looking to optimise digital experiences.

James Harvey continued, “Retailers need to optimise digital experiences and take full advantage of this opportunity to increase revenues over the holiday season. IT teams are fully aware of the need to focus on application availability and performance over this key period. And many have first-hand experience of the hard work and long hours that go into ensuring applications and supporting infrastructure are able to cope with huge spikes in demand.”

“However, with technologists in all sectors managing ever more complex and distributed hybrid environments, optimising application availability and performance is becoming far more challenging. Retailers therefore need an application observability solution, which allows IT teams to take a more proactive approach to managing modern application environments, accessing deeper insight to address performance issues before they impact customers.”