Survey: Long Lines, Missing Items Prompt Shopping Shifts

So, just what does tick off consumers shopping for the holidays?

Well, according to A.T. Kearney’s 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey, the top beef is long lines, cited by 84% of consumers, followed by aggressive crowds and out-of-stock items, each cited by 67% of consumers, and poor service, cited by 57% of consumers.

Retailers who can keep the shopping experience productive, expedient and civilized as the year ends may have a substantial edge over those who cannot. In the holiday shopping study, more than 60% of respondents said they are willing to change where they shop based on their 2017 negative experiences, with out-of-stock issues and long lines the main reasons given for switching behavior.

While holiday shoppers want to get the best deals, the survey found that avoiding the holiday crush has become their second most important objective, with 45% of survey respondents saying they would hit stores early to avoid crowds.

Shopping shifts are in the holiday forecast, A.T. Kearney noted, as 40% of survey respondents claimed to have plans that include patronizing different retailers, both brick and mortar and digital, than they did in 2017. At the same time, 23% of survey respondents insisted that they would shift their primary buying to online or mobile as a result of bad shopping experiences. In contrast, only 14% indicated that they would move their spending primarily to in store.