Wednesday 16 November 2016 1:00 am

High-street retailers are struggling to meet the demands of tech-savvy consumers

Black Friday marks the start of the UK's busiest shopping period of the year, and research shows retailers aren't doing enough to improve their customers' in-store experiences. 

Among the biggest irritations to shoppers are crowded shops (45 per cent), checkout queues (42 per cent) and long waits for fitting rooms (29 per cent). Almost two thirds of people have admitted to abandoning a clothing purchase altogether due to their frustrations.

The research comes from Barclaycard, who have found that despite half of British consumers preferring to buy clothes in-store, 37 per cent choose to shop online because of the flexibility and quick service.

To drive sales, retailers should align their digital and high street offerings to compliment one another.

What are the latest Black Friday deals? Check them out before they go!

“Our research shows that consumers no longer want to have to choose between buying online or in-store. Instead time-pressed shoppers crave a personal experience that allows them to take advantage of technology and a high street presence, brought together seamlessly in a way that works best for them," Sharon Manikon, director of customer solutions at Barclaycard, said.

Popular requests from consumers include in-store touch screen displays so consumers can check stock availability while browsing, digital changing rooms to try on clothes via virtual reality and "scan and buy" apps to minimise checkout queues.

This process, known as an "omni-channel" shopping experience, is most popularly used with delivery options like click and collect online shopping, which 42 per cent of consumers said was a deciding factor when making a purchase.