Shoppers 'checking web before high street'Poll says four in ten prefer to shop online

19 February 2008

Many UK shoppers are relying on the internet to seek the best deals, according to a new poll.

More than seven out of ten people now use the internet to preview and compare prices before heading for the high street, while a similar number say they use the web to research products.

The survey of 977 people by analyst Accenture found that 44% also prefer to shop online rather than going around stores.

The company says that customers are also becoming increasingly disgruntled with sloppy customer service and out-of-stock goods at some high street stores.

Customer service

About 55% complained shops often didn't have enough tills open, and 49% said products they wanted were frequently out of stock.

Accenture spokesman Richard Wildman said: ‘UK consumers are making wide use of [the internet] to not only buy products, but to check availability and find the best prices. Retailers need to make sure that if their website says they have a product, it really is on their shelves and not out of stock.’

Retailers survey

Recently Waitrose emerged as the UK's favourite shop in Which?’s biggest ever .

The supermarket got an overall shopper satisfaction score of 87% in our poll of nearly 11,000 Which? members.

Waitrose’s sister company John Lewis was second, and local independent stores did exceptionally well, scoring highly for quality service from friendly, knowledgeable staff.

But JD Sports scored just 33%, placing it bottom of the pile – with one customer complaining of indifferent staff and the shops being ‘a jumbled mess’.