More 18 to 34-year-olds would prefer to shop on the high street than online, but nearly a third still try to avoid it “as much as possible”, according to a new survey conducted by Yoyo and YouGov.

With commentators stating that British retailers have endured their worst start to the year since 2013, mobile loyalty payments provider Yoyo wanted to find out how UK shoppers perceive the current state of the UK high street.

According a recent survey conducted by Yoyo and YouGov, the high street is still the favourite way to shop for 18 to 34-year-olds, but the current experience is not meeting demand.

Given a number of options on which way they would prefer to shop, the majority of 18 to 34-year-olds (42%) chose the high street, while 39% picked online websites.

However, while the high street took the edge as the preferred way to shop, when asked to give their current opinion of bricks and mortar retail, 29% of 18 to 34-year olds said they avoided the high street “as much as possible”, and 26% claimed they shop on the high street less than they did a year ago (March 2017).

Michael Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Yoyo, said: “Despite all the doom and gloom reported, this data shows a willingness among 18 to 34-year-olds for the high street to survive and prosper, but they’re asking retailers to elevate the shopping experience to match ever growing and changing expectations.”

In the survey, Yoyo pointed out that when shopping online, retailers are able to use personal and past purchase data to provide customers with personalised recommendations, discounts and offers.

Asked if they would be willing to share the same level of data with high street retailers in return for a similar personalised experience, 54% (of those who answered yes or no) said yes.

Michael Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Yoyo, added: “Personal data is a quite a hot topic at the moment, but this survey suggests that there is willingness among 18 to 34-year-olds to share their data when there’s a quid quo pro relationship, and retailers deliver experiences on the high street that consumers actually want.”

Yoyo then asked 18 to 34-year-olds which personalised benefits they would most like to see introduced to their high street experience.

  • 69% said they wanted personalised deals/discounts tailored to their past purchases
  • Nearly half (49%) said the ability to skip queues was a must
  • 45% said they wanted notifications of and the chance to instantly reserve items they were likely to want that had become available in a nearby store
  • 42% wanted the ability to order in advance
  • 38% wanted digital itemised receipts

Only 2% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they didn’t know what they wanted when it came to personalised services.

Michael Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Yoyo, added: “Consumers want their high street shopping experience to seamlessly match and exceed what they already find online and, what’s more, the majority are willing to share their data with high street retailers in exchange for these experiences.

“And if you consider new innovations like the introduction of Open Banking earlier this year, where consumers can now choose to share their personal data with trusted third parties in return for more advanced financial services, we begin to see how trusted high street retailers could easily build new services around the point-of-sale, including past purchase-based personalised deals and itemised receipts delivered straight to a customer’s banking app.”

The survey’s findings follows the news of Yoyo first-of-its-kind partnership with Starling Bank in November 2017. Starling’s customers can now automatically reap the benefits of retailer-specific loyalty services when they use their bank card in-store, including loyalty points collection and itemised receipt delivery.

Michael Rolph, concluded: “It’s safe to say that 2018 will be seen as a turning point for high street retail. We still can’t be sure which way it will go, but with recent events on the high street in mind it’s already becoming a case of innovate or die!”


Founded in 2013 by Alain Falys, Michael Rolph and Dave Nicholson, Yoyo is the fastest growing mobile payment and loyalty marketing platform in Europe. Through its unique omni-channel point-of-sale acceptance rails, Yoyo delivers a seamless mobile payment and loyalty experience for consumers, whilst providing retailers with the tools to better engage, reward and retain their customers.

Yoyo is partnered with several high street retail chains, including Planet Organic, Harris + Hoole, HOP Vietnamese and Wrap it Up. Yoyo also built the branded payment and loyalty app for Caffè Nero, the UK’s third largest coffee chain.

Yoyo is also present in more than 70 universities across the UK and Ireland, as well as canteens in over 300 corporate locations.