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How to Avoid Shopping Anxiety

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There are two types of people in this world: shopaholics and shopaphobics. And guess what? With Christmas and Black Friday fast approaching, it’s time to brace yourself to either cha-cha-cha to the checkout or prepare to take refuge on the benches outside the store. 

With the year’s busiest retail period fast approaching, a new report by SumUp has revealed the top shopping annoyances facing UK consumers this year. 

The survey was conducted in August 2023 with 2000 UK respondents to reveal shoppers’ biggest likes and dislikes. SumUp then worked with personal shopper Jennifer Jones of jenniferjonesstyling.com to create a shopping guide to transform even the most shopping-shy folks into cart-wheeling customers.

Pushy salespeople and store hygiene make the top five shopping pet peeves

The survey of 2000 UK respondents found that poor quality of products took the crown as the top shopping pet peeve, with 57% of the UK agreeing. Second on the list was store hygiene, with 54% of consumers being grossed out by a grimy or grubby store.

Poor quality of goods (57% of shoppers claim this as a shopping pet peeve) 

Jennifer Jones, a professional shopper, comments: “A great way to check the quality of something before you purchase online, especially clothing, is to check out the fabrics and materials used – this can tell you a lot about what that product will be like when it arrives. Another thing you can do is look at the brand’s ethos… is it a fast fashion company, or do they pride themselves on quality?” 

Poor store hygiene (54% of shoppers claim this as a shopping pet peeve)  

Jennifer comments: “It’s not an excuse because I think every store should have a high level of hygiene, but in reality, this is often reflected in the price point of the store you’re shopping in. I’m not saying you have to spend lots of money and only opt for designer brands, but if you want a better shopping experience, it’s likely that you’ll need to increase your price point slightly. And don’t be afraid to tell the staff in the moment – they can then improve this.”

Poor customer service (53% of shoppers claim this as a shopping pet peeve)

Jennifer comments: “I believe customer service should be at the heart of any business, and it’s certainly something me and my team pride ourselves on. I would advise politely voicing your feedback directly to the brand you’ve shopped with – they can’t improve unless they’ve been informed of your experience. And to avoid this in future, be sure to check out their reviews online… this can tell you a lot about the service you’ll receive from others who have already shopped with them.”

Pushy salespeople (52% of shoppers claim this as a shopping pet peeve)

Jennifer comments: “This can happen anywhere, and often pushy salespeople mean well. Don’t let them put you off. The best and most polite way of handling pushy salespeople would be to thank them for their help and ask that you have some time to browse on your own. As a personal stylist, I often ask for space for me and my client if we feel like we need it, because my number one priority is ensuring our clients have the best possible experience.”

Difficult return policy (42% of shoppers claim this as a shopping pet peeve)

Jennifer comments: “The return policy is certainly something I’d recommend you check before buying if you can – especially if you’re super busy and don’t have the time to faff around with difficult or long-winded return policies.”

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