Retail brands take secondary role in UK

29 November 2011

LONDON: Consumers in the UK believe the quality of service and products that retailers provide are more important than their strengths as brands, new figures show.

Econsultancy, the insights group, and TolunaQuick, the research firm, surveyed 5,000 shoppers, and found nearly three-quarters would recommend a retailer after a good experience.

When choosing the most important characteristics of the chains they traded with, efficient customer service scored 61%, high-quality products delivered 56% and low prices yielded 55%.

Quickly resolving problems registered 35% on this measure, while motivated and friendly staff hit 32%, and the "sense that the company puts your needs first" generated 26%.

Having a user-friendly website posted 19%, and being sent relevant, timely communications such as direct mail and email received 15%.

Consistent branding across different channels – such as in-store, online, call centre catalogues – recorded 11%, and benefiting from a "joined-up" service only secured 10%.

"Your brand spend isn't appreciated," Econsultancy's study argued. "Above all else, people want efficient customer service, followed by quality products and low prices."

Elsewhere, 69% of adults had researched goods online in the last six months and 64% had done so in stores, reaching 29% for brochures and catalogues, 13% on mobile phones and 8% for tablets.

Upon rating their last online purchase experience from a desktop PC, 86% of contributors ranked it as either "excellent" or good", standing at 80% for bricks and mortar stores.

However, while 41% of interviewees stated that using a PC to buy something had been "excellent", figures here fell to 25% for physical stores.

Among the top retailers named by consumers were Argos, the multichannel retailer, Amazon, the online giant, and Marks & Spencer, the high-street apparel and food chain.

John Lewis, the department store operator, and Next, the fashion specialist also featured in this group, as did Tesco, the supermarket operator and the UK's biggest retailer.

Data sourced from Econsultancy; additional content by Warc staff