Thirty nine per cent of SMEs believe they will lose out to larger retailers this Christmas, with a study conducted by retail analysts Conlumino, in partnership with InPost , indicating that shoppers are set to allocate just 13.2 per cent of their Christmas spend to small or medium sized enterprises.
The study, which included a poll of UK SMEs, found that the failure of SMEs to offer click and collect could cost them as much as £200m. The poll found that the service, offered by just 18 per cent of SMEs, is expected to account for £700m of the anticipated £8.5bn Christmas spend. Almost a third of consumers are expected to take advantage of click and collect services offered by retailers.
Neil Saunders, managing director of Conlumino, said: “The good news for smaller retailers is that while many claim to be planning to switch, almost half (49 per cent) of shoppers say they’d actually prefer to give them their custom rather than the big fish. However, they need the reassurance that they’ll be able to get what they want, when they want it.”
Over half, 51.3 per cent , of SMEs polled acknowledged that their failing to compete with the larger retailers in terms of convenience was a key reason behind a potential loss of custom. Forty two per cent of consumers noted that they would be swayed towards SMEs that offered online ordering and convenient delivery options.
Jonathan Smith, chairman of InPost UK, said: “SMEs should consider solutions such as automated locker networks that don’t require lots of investment and which would not only help them extend their reach by providing 24/7 collection locations across the country, but which also provide easy drop off points allowing them to quickly and easily send multiple items at once without the queues.”
The younger shopper is the most demanding when it comes to convenience. Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of 25-34 year olds choose to make the switch to larger retailers at Christmas time versus 40 per cent of those aged 65 and over, many of them driven by fulfilment issues and the fact they don’t fit with their busy lifestyles.