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Stock Issues Hamper High Street Sales

18 January 2019 - 09:51 by Graham Miller

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A study from REPL Group has identified that one of the main reasons for the rise of safe shopping online in recent years is that consumers are often frustrated by the lack of stock available to view in bricks-and-mortar outlets.

Internet Retailing reports that 41 per cent of respondents to the survey said that it was especially vexing to be alerted digitally about an in-store offer, only to find that it is sold out upon arrival.

This is a common complication that is causing high street sales to falter at a time when e-commerce continues to grow and expand in the UK.

The solution could lie in the hands of the app sector, with experts arguing that it makes sense for more retailers to offer real-time stock checking and updates via smartphone software in order to reduce the likelihood of customers becoming frustrated.

70 per cent of shoppers believe that such an approach would be a major benefit, enabling them to know whether or not it was worth taking a trip to a store in the first place.

Consumers are also eager to see more features integrated with m-commerce apps in order to improve both the online experience and the in-store approach to retail. Having customer and staff recommendations displayed alongside products, for example, is suggested as sensible given that such a feature is commonplace on e-commerce sites.

Report spokesperson Mike Callender said that the high street was shooting itself in the foot by pushing promotions through digital channels which could not then be fulfilled due to insufficient in-store stock levels. He said that apps provided the perfect solution to this conundrum, meaning that customer satisfaction would be improved, sales could grow and high street outlets could coexist in a more balanced way with their online counterparts.