Industry News Premier Retail

Re-Energising Retail: Who’s Winning in the CX Stakes?

The rise of the self-service customer: Why retailers need to give their customers greater freedom of choice
Written by Amy

Best retailers for in-store and online customer experience revealed in new RetailEXPO report

Retailers’ in-store customer experience (CX) was better than online, the latest report from RetailEXPO revealed – with one exception; Amazon.

Original research among over 2,000 UK consumers in the ‘One Vision: How To Re-Energise Retail In 2019 And Beyond’ Report from RetailEXPO revealed that Tesco topped the poll for delivering in-store experience (23%), followed by Sainsbury’s (18%) and Asda (17%).

The top five retailers delivering the best in-store CX was dominated by grocers, with the average in-store satisfaction score of 15%, while the average in-store satisfaction score for department stores dropped to 7% on average and dropped even further for in-store fashion, scoring just 3% on average.  These results, the report suggests, are indicative of supermarkets’ ever-evolving propositions to change and keep up with new consumer habits – both from a technology and store format perspective.


Matt Bradley, Event Director for RetailEXPO, explained: “From a technology perspective, the top three for in-store CX in our report – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda – have all explored ways to reduce friction at the checkout, which is consistently a top pain point for shoppers, using either self-service, mobile app payment, or other methods to speed up transactions and give consumers purchasing control.  It seems everyone’s looking for that Amazon Go-like showstopper.”

Matt Bradley continued: “From a store format perspective, grocers, such as Sainsbury’s, have looked at mixed-use formats, by introducing fashion, beauty and wellness concepts to become quasi department stores, in order to deliver convenience.  And more widely retailers are looking to redefine the in-store environment to include experiences as well as product in order to engage shoppers who want blended retail and leisure.”

Almost three quarters (73%) of shoppers said they would spend more time and money in-stores that offer up a blend of product and experiences, while 70% said they would shop elsewhere if a retailer didn’t provide an exciting or engaging shopping environment, highlighting the importance of retail design in increasing dwell time, improving conversions and, ultimately, delivering CX in-store.

When it came to online customer experience, Amazon topped the poll by a significant margin – 28% of UK shoppers rated the online giant as having the best digital CX – 19% higher than second place Argos (9%) and third equal John Lewis and M&S (6%).

Increasingly consumers are putting the shopping encounters offered by Amazon as the benchmark; 37% of UK shoppers say they wanted retailers’ websites to have the same capabilities as Amazon – with frictionless one-click payments a priority for 23%.  A further 33% expressed frustrations with the length of time retailers’ websites took to load.

“Digital transformation, store restructuring and resizing, the move to service-led, experiential retailing, and the need to innovate and compete with not just other retailers – but other entertainment, leisure and hospitality providers – illustrates a complex path ahead for the retail industry.  Looking ahead, successful retail businesses will be ones that combine online and their physical retailing estates in the most organic ways. Retail winners will be the ones which don’t stand still, focus on offering customers memorable experiences, and evolve the way they are run to meet the needs of a new workforce and consumer demographic,” Matt Bradley concluded.

For more insights and key takeaways for retailers looking to capitalise on the opportunity that new retail presents in 2019 and beyond, download the full report:

About the author


Leave a Comment