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Two women leaving intu shopping centre with bags

Date: 24th Oct 2016 | Posted in: Financial News, Sponsorship & Affinities, News

Revealed: The secrets to the perfect shopping trip

intu and mbna survey reveals the ingredients for the perfect shopping day out

  • A three-hour trip around the shops – starting at 10.28 on a Saturday morning – is perfect for the nation’s shoppers…but they’re eager to make their visit an “experience”
  • The perfect shopping day includes visits to nine different shops, no more than seven minutes queuing and a spend of more than 100 pounds
  • Social media is a major part of the perfect shopping experience for many modern shoppers, with the ideal trip including updates, posts and pictures
  • Savvy shoppers expect to be rewarded for their spending and loyalty

The perfect shopping trip involves trying on or testing six items from nine shops after starting at 10.28 on a Saturday morning and finishing with a meal out.

To understand what makes the perfect shopping trip, a study was commissioned by the shopping centre owner intu and credit card experts MBNA to support the launch of one of the market’s newest retail credit cards – the intu credit card. Shoppers across the UK were quizzed on their preferred shopping habits, with over 2,000 evaluated.

The ideal trip to the shops lasts three hours, with a total of five items purchased and no more than seven minutes queuing. The total cost of the day, which includes a refuel break for coffee and cake, ends up costing £118.

Most people would prefer to be accompanied by their partner, and half said they would make the day out extra special by going for a meal together. Meanwhile, a third will take their chosen shopping partners for a drink, 21 per cent will head to the cinema, and one in 10 will take part in a family-friendly activity such as bowling.

Three-quarters say they’re most likely to shop in places where they can earn rewards for their spending, with 60 per cent looking for retailer discounts, 40 per cent wanting free coffee or cake, and 35 per cent on the hunt for restaurant discounts and offers.

Roger Binks, Customer Experience director at intu, which owns 15 intu branded shopping centres across the UK including intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre, said: “Everyone’s expectations of what makes for a great shopping trip have changed a lot over the last few years, but this research shows that the majority of us will still leave the house in return for a great day out, a chance to try out items and earn valuable rewards that they can’t get online.

“That’s why we’ve created the intu credit card with MBNA to reward our shoppers with great benefits, offers and discounts on food and drink they can’t get anywhere else.”

The study also confirmed the importance of technology and social media as part the overall shopping experience. Shoppers aged between 18 and 44 update social media on average five times during their trip. On top of that, they will send at least one text and one picture to get advice from friends and family before making a purchase. Two in five will also use their mobile to compare prices between shops, and a quarter will go on to buy an item on their smart phone whilst out shopping.

One of the UK’s leading consumer finance experts, TV presenter and founder of Jasmine Birtles said: “For many, shopping is not just a job that needs doing but a hobby. People will go on a shopping trip as a fun way to spend a Saturday or a day off work rather than simply because they need to buy something. Shopping is one of the UK’s favourite leisure activities, but shoppers are getting savvier and more demanding as purchasing online now offers them all sorts of attractive retail options. Discounts, loyalty points, freebies and other incentives are all now part of what the British shopper expects when they go out to spend their money.

"They’re also looking for speed and convenience with their transactions so that they can spend more time with the fun stuff like trying on clothes and eating in cafes. A contactless credit card with shopping rewards neatly combines the two, so it’s likely to be very popular with shopping devotees.”

Michael Donald, MBNA’s Commercial and Payments executive, added: “It’s clear from this research that we’re a nation of sophisticated and savvy shoppers. This is why MBNA, the experts in credit cards and intu the experts in retail, have collaborated to develop a unique proposition – the intu credit card.

“The intu credit card is a new breed of reward card that offers a range of benefits whenever customers spend. Cardholders can access exclusive offers with retail and leisure brands in intu centres, from entertainment to leisure and dining in a way that they want to pay – from contactless to Apple Pay or Android Pay.”

“Bursting with benefits”, the new intu credit card is available for eligible customers over the age of 18 to apply for now. For more information, terms and conditions or to apply, visit

Representative example 16.9 per cent per annum variable on card purchases. This is the equivalent to 16.9 per cent APR representative variable based on a credit limit of £1,200.


Top 20 things needed to make the perfect modern-day shopping trip:

1. A location where I can shop, eat and socialise in one place
2. Being able to socialise with my friends or family
3. Being able to find my way around easily
4. Being able to use whatever payment method I wish (contactless, Apple Pay, etc.)
5. Being rewarded for my spending with discounts and offers at the place I’m shopping
6. Being rewarded when I spend a certain amount
7. Free parking
8. Ending up with several bags of goodies
9. Finding something I have wanted for ages in the sale
10. Finding somewhere new that I will return to on a future shopping trip
11. Discovering I fit into something a size smaller than I usually wear
12. Getting to the till to buy something and realising it is cheaper than I thought
13. Grabbing a bargain
14. Having simple ways to pay to avoid the queues
15. Loving the first thing I try on
16. Making an unplanned purchase
17. My favourite music being played in the shops
18. Not paying full price for anything
19. Returning to a tried and tested shopping destination
20. Treating myself to something

The secrets of the perfect shopping trip infographic