Cautious consumers costing retailers

British consumers spend nearly a year of their lives deliberating over purchases, according to new research.

Consumers spend nearly a year of their lives agonising over whether to part with their cash, according to new research.

A nationwide study into the spending habits of shoppers has revealed that they spend an average of two and a half hours every week mulling over whether or not to make purchases That’s more than five days a year – or 340 days over the course of an adult lifetime.

Researchers from online payment solutions company Checkout.com surveyed consumers as part of their shopping trends report and discovered that shoppers feel a great deal of anxiety when it comes to spending.

According to the data, shoppers take as long as one hour debating what to buy for lunch and an average of two weeks weighing up the pros and cons of buying a new item of clothing. They spend three and a half months deliberating over larger purchases such as a new car or holiday, and a cautious nine in ten consumers wait until something like a washing machine or fridge is broken before investing in a new one.

The poll found 79 percent of consumers confess to being careful or even ‘tight’ with money, while 19 percent of shoppers said they hate parting with their cash and one in ten said they feel wracked with guilt if they have to invest in something expensive like a new sofa or fridge.

This will come as more bad news for retailers who are working hard to get shoppers to part with their cash following a slew of poor retail results and major high street closures.

Commenting on the caution of the British public, Guillaume Pousaz, Founder and CEO of Checkout.com said: “Consumers are, understandably, careful when it comes to spending money. We deliberate over our purchase decisions – and so naturally, there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow checkout process.”

He added, “Shopping online should be made as easy as possible for customers, from the moment you open the browser to receiving the confirmation email. Retailers who do not adapt will suffer. At Checkout.com we help online retailers meet the needs of their customers by optimising their payments process to keep pace with demand.”

The research also showed that over a third (36 percent) often buy things after they have seen them advertised on social media and 37 percent said it would be handy if you could buy from sites like Instagram and Facebook directly.

“Shoppers today expect to see offers tailored to their individual needs, wants and past behaviours, as well as recommendations based on the likes and dislikes of their respective social networks” added Pousaz.

When asked how they would like to pay in the future, 83 percent of shoppers said they would choose a debit or credit card, 21 percent would use Apple Pay, 15 percent opted for Google Pay and 11 percent chose Face ID.

Pousaz said: “Retail tech that enhances the user experience with personalisation and focuses on delighting the shopper will play a big part for retailers in 2018 and beyond. Personalisation tech will also be as important offline as online, with in-store experiences delivering more ‘wow-factor’.”

Any retailers that don’t fulfil these expectations are taking a serious risk.

TIME IT TAKES TO DECIDE WHETHER TO PURCHASE…

Big purchases i.e. house, car or holiday: 3.6 months

Medium purchases i.e. new outfit or weekend away: 2 weeks

Small purchases i.e. lunch, lipstick: 1 hour

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