Despite the rise of ecommerce, Britain's high street looks set to endure, with two thirds of shoppers still preferring to view valuable products in person before buying, according to a Barclays survey.
Of 2000 people quizzed, 81% say they are likely to shop in the high street branch of a national retailers in the next 12 months, compared to 60% likely to buy from the same outfit online.
However, with more than 80% of respondents saying that they are likely to shop online at an internet specialist in the next year, traditional bricks and mortar players face significant competition.
One way in which they can counter this is through the use of innovative technology. Nearly two thirds of those quizzed are eager to see more touchscreen technology and shoppers are more likely to visit a store kitted out with virtual reality (57%), smart fitting rooms (57%) or augmented reality (52%).
In addition, new payment technologies are highly rated by consumers, with many describing contactless (48%) and mobile payments (37%) as “life changing”.
Appetite for the use of drones in retail is more muted, however, with around two-thirds of shoppers citing worries about security, privacy and collisions.
In another technological shift, shoppers are now five times more likely to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to complain about a product than they were three years ago. And they want a quick response when they complain, with one in three expecting a complaint made via social media responded to within an hour.
Ian Gilmartin, head, retail and wholesale, Barclays, says: "The conclusion from our research is that the key to success for many retailers is to offer a balanced high street and online offering, taking advantage of technological innovation in store to attract shoppers through their doors."