The British are Europe's most discerning shoppers when it comes to getting the best deal, according to a global study by self-service technology provider NCR.
The research found that UK shoppers have the lowest level of customer loyalty in Europe when it comes to price - nearly half that of those in Germany, with almost two thirds (61%) switching retailers in a bid to save money.
Smart shoppers are increasingly turning to the internet to save money. However, more than one-third (34%) still want to be able to look at the products in-store before making their purchase. This is almost on a par with the 41% who usually go on to complete their transactions online.
"The economic climate has made consumers far more likely to shop around across multiple channels," said Elton Birden, managing director at NCR. "This makes it important for retailers to make it easy to research, purchase and return goods both online and in-store. By bringing the digital experience in-store via interactive media, such as price-check touchscreens and self-service checkouts, retailers can offer their customers a more innovative and convenient service."
While consumers now spend more time evaluating brands before making a final purchase, 74% of the survey's respondents said they want to be able to complete their purchases more quickly.
In the UK, many retailers have responded by investing in self-checkouts, with almost 15,000 expected to be in operation nationwide in 2011 (up from only 7,000 in 2008), according to research by retail consultancy RBR.