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UK businesses facing flighty consumer loyalties

29 May 2012 - 12:36 by Mike Price

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It seems that retailers and service providers in the UK are having a tougher time of hanging onto customers at the moment, with a report from Accenture, finding that 55 per cent of people swapped brands in the last year.

This covers everything from high street supermarkets to energy suppliers and retailers offering safe shopping online.

Sixty six per cent of people questioned as part of the study said that they carry out extensive research into retailers, before they commit to shopping with them, with 80 per cent of respondents saying that they would alert friends and families to a poor experience they have had with a particular brand, which can generate a negative word of mouth effect.

The internet plays a major role in fuelling the popularity of particular brands over others, because it is essentially being used by UK consumers in order to pass on information about their experiences. This can magnify a few negative stories and damage the reputation of particular companies.

The internet has also made it much easier to compare prices of products being sold via safe shopping online or on the high street. This means that consumers can switch supermarkets, energy suppliers or even banks with ease, safe in the knowledge that they have seen a legitimate comparison between their key options and thus made an appropriate choice for their circumstances.

It is interesting to note that consumers are still putting a lot of emphasis on the actual experience of shopping with or engaging with a particular brand. This means that while the web has certainly made sure that value is at the forefront of many people's minds, it is not the be all and end all of things, with poor service resulting in no repeat business for companies.