Christer Holloman, CEO and Co-founder of Divido

New research from lending fintech Divido has illustrated a huge divide between retailers and consumers in areas such as social media influence, Brexit and the power of discounting.
Divido’s study of over 200 UK retailers and research into consumer attitudes found that 61% of retailers believe they have no responsibility to police consumer spending, while 65% state Brexit will lead them to re-evaluate their position in the UK. Some 89% of retailers believe social media is influential when making a high-value purchase but only 6% of consumers agree. Consumers said they are swayed more by advice from family and friends (69%), their loyalty to a brand (67%) and payment options available (60%) over marketing on social channels.
When asked about what influences their decision to buy a high-value item 94% opted for getting a good deal. That’s well above other influencing factors outlined above. Relentless discounting is not sustainable for retailers. Rather than getting in price wars with other businesses, retailers need to compete on other criteria such as brand loyalty and providing the best customer experience to drive footfall and increase sales, concluded Divido.
“Consumers are promiscuous and unpredictable creatures, and demand brands to constantly be updating and changing to reflect current taste,” said Andrew Busby, Founder and CEO of Retail Reflections. “One of the key takeaways in this report is the danger of discounting. In my view, staying close to your customers outweighs price and produce because in an Instagrammable, selfie-strewn world, relevance trumps discounting every time.”
Some 77% of UK retailers Divido surveyed said the Government needs to do more to create a level playing field between high street stores and online retailers. At the same time, 51% of retailers stated they see no difference between their online and offline strategies, while 68% state that they are already re-evaluating their bricks-and-mortar strategy, in a bid to evolve their proposition.
Alongside this, Brexit remains a concern with 61% of retailers saying that the UK’s departure from the EU will disrupt their business and 65% stating it will lead them to re-evaluate their position in the UK.
“Consumers have had their voices heard when it comes to the changing nature of the UK high street, and choice is what is driving their decision-making – be that where they buy, how they buy, or what they buy,” said Christer Holloman, CEO and Co-founder of Divido. “Only those retailers that fully understand the changing nature of consumer spending around big-ticket purchases will thrive in the future – whether that’s online or on the high street.”

by Guy Matthews
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