New research shows Irish consumers frustrated by in-store retail technology


Research by Fujitsu Ireland found that consumers expect more from their experience using technology in retail stores and many shoppers feel the in-store technology in Irish stores is either ‘quite often poor’ or ‘very poor’. Common complaints about the tech experience available include it being too slow (45%), unreliable (32%) and immobile (14%).

The research found that many shoppers say that they make use of in-store technology including digital enquiry points, stock-monitoring applications and mobile tablets, every time they shop (24%) and three in ten(29%) were less than impressed with the experience. Fifty per cent of Irish shoppers point to the ability to browse and buy in person as their primary reason for visiting a physical store. Following this, a quarter (27%) of shoppers mainly hit the high street for “in-store shopping experience”.

Close to a third (31%) of Irish shoppers believe that staff are not adequately trained on the technology they are expected to use. This statistic is in stark contrast to another section of the report in which a massive 91% of retail staff feel fully confident using the technology provided.

Despite this, the report highlights the potential for technology to enhance the instore experience of both consumers and staff. Half of consumers (49%) within the study stated that the available technology serves to speed up the service they receive. A third (34%) cite the ability to access additional product information as a bonus, while personalised offers and vouchers (25%) are also a draw for customers.

Well over half of shoppers within the study say that both the quality of in-store technology directly affects their loyalty to a particular retailer (59%) and that they have proactively chosen to buy an item from one store over another because they knew they would enjoy a better technology experience (57%). Interestingly (76%), say that a positive technology experience would increase the likelihood of them purchasing additional items.

Dunnes Stores retains top spot two months in a row in supermarket battle

Dunnes Stores has held its position as Ireland’s largest grocer for the second month in a row according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland,The figures published today, contain data for the 12 weeks ending 26 February 2017.

Dunnes have encouraged shoppers to add more to their baskets, helping the retailer to maintain the title of Ireland’s largest supermarket this month. The grocer’s “Shop & Save” initiative is continuing to influence customers to spend more, with the average basket featuring an extra one and a half items – an additional €3 per trip and €25 million for the retailer in the past 12 weeks, compared to the previous 12 weeks. This is the first time the retailer has retained the top spot.

Sales at Dunnes grew by 4.6% and the retailer increased its market share to 22.9%, up from 22.5% last year. SuperValu remain an incredibly close second with a 22.6% share of the market.

SuperValu also convinced customers to spend more in their weekly trip with the average customer spending over €1 more per trip, causing sales to grow by 0.5% amounting to an extra €3 million for the grocery chain. Last month, Supervalu announced plans to open three new stores and refurbish a host of others. With the retailer will be expecting to experience a boost in sales later in the year.

Aldi’s and Lidl’s success is continuing, with sales rising by 5.3% and 4.1% respectively. Over the past twelve weeks Aldi managed to attract an additional 20,000 customers into its stores, while also encouraging them to visit more frequently. Lidl’s uplift in sales enabled the retailer to increase its share of the market to 10.6%.

Following three months of steady growth, Tesco sales dropped by 1.0% as eleven days of staff strikes led to disruption for the retailer. Despite the industrial action only affecting eight stores there has been a clear impact on the retailer’s performance, with market share falling by 0.9 percentage points to 21.7%.

For more Grocery Market Share data visit Kantar Worldpanel’s Dataviz

Retail figures up in November, helped by boost in electrical sales


November saw Irish retail sales rise by .9% in comparison to the previous month, according to the latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO)

If auto sales are excluded, the picture is even more positive with the monthly increase rising to 3.1%. There was a rise of 4.3% on an annual basis compared to the same period in 2015.

November was a particularly impressive month for electrical sales which rose by 17% compared to October. It is thought the significant pump could be caused by consumers purchasing early Christmas presents. However, electrical sales have seen an annual rise of 13.8% which means the rise is consistent.

Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sales also saw a sharp rise in November with a gain of 7.9% on the previous month and an annual rise of 10.2%.

Overall, the results are positive for the sector showing steady growth throughout the year. The figures are particularly positive when the uncertainty brought about by Brexit in the middle of the year is taken into account.

Consumer confidence and retail sales hit their highest numbers in 15 years in January 16 but saw a dip after the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

One significant issue with the CSO figures are foreign retailers selling into Ireland are excluded from the calculations. This means that online retailers such as Amazon and other large global firms are excluded from the final data released.

The strong sales figures were unquestionably boosted by the growing popularity of Black Friday, which takes place on the last Friday of November.

Retail sales are expected to grow a further 4-5% in the coming year. Despite the positive news, consumer spending growth is expected to slow in 2017 due to global political and economic uncertainty.