Essential Retail’s author Alastair Lockhart provides an interesting insight and research into the customer’s experiences perception over online buying. 64% said experiences are more important to them than products – rising to 73% for 18-34 year olds.

Currently online sales account for one-fifth of total retail sales and the evidence suggests the proportion will grow further. But with a growing appetite among shoppers for experiences and a number of online retailers exploring physical spaces, could there be light at the end of the tunnel for high streets?

While online retail is convenient, and is becoming more convenient as delivery times shorten, it struggles to deliver the level of experience stores can. Some 85% of shoppers tell us that online can never create the experience of physical shops. What’s more, shopper demand for experiences is growing rapidly.

It’s perhaps not surprising therefore that a number of online retailers are exploring physical spaces, from pop-up shops to more permanent stores

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