Every retailer wants to get inside the heads of shoppers. How are consumers making buying decisions? Are they showrooming items in-store and buying online? Are in-store associates giving them the help they need—or do shoppers know as much or more than sales associates? Newly released data from our 8th annual Global Shopper Study lifts the veil on the minds of today’s connected shoppers, revealing what they want when they shop, whether it’s online or in stores.
Consumers today are conjoined with their mobile devices before, during, and after the shopping experience, so it’s natural that they reported Wi-Fi and in-store, location-based mobile coupons as top priorities. Shoppers use Wi-Fi in store to check competitor websites for lower prices and read product reviews. Those surveyed also named shopping maps and associate assistance as other areas of interest in the survey.
Consumer expectations are higher than ever and the role of technology has never been greater. Consumers feel so empowered by information from their mobile devices that 34 percent of them report feeling more connected to real-time information than to in-store associates. Yet, consumers still value the personalized touch from those employees. More than 64 percent of shoppers said they would be willing to purchase more merchandise if they received better customer service. In essence, shoppers today want it all—personalized attention from store personnel and real-time information that is tailored to their shopping experience.
Expectations should be high because today’s technology is designed for a more personalized, high-touch shopping experience. Mobile and retail technology empowers shoppers to make informed decisions like never before and frees up associates to deliver the highest level of service. In-store associates can use technology to access product inventory information, delivery options, or check out customers via mobile payment kiosks. These advancements are driving more than 75 percent of shoppers to say they feel good about shopping in stores, with three in ten reporting they would prefer to go into a retail store to pick up an item purchased online rather than having it delivered to their home.
Brick-and-mortar shopping is evolving to meet changing demands of consumers. Imagine entering a store and being greeted by name with a special offer on the item you came to purchase. Consumers are coming to expect this kind of personalization when they share their information with retailers. Nearly eight in ten shoppers said they are willing to hand over personal data to retailers and value those who use the data to offer them targeted deals and better prices.
One thing about shopping that will likely never change is that consumers still love getting a deal. They want to feel smart and informed about their purchasing decision. More than half of the surveyed shoppers reported showrooming items in stores before buying online. And that’s not limited to just American shoppers. Our survey extended to Singapore, China, Australia, Thailand, and beyond.
No matter the locale, it’s almost certain that shoppers today will share the good, the bad, and the ugly about their shopping experience. While more than half of shoppers surveyed think technology enables retailers to improve the shopping experience, you can be sure you’ll hear about it if they don’t.