More shoppers are demanding increasingly immersive and connected experiences. As they do, retailers must embrace state-of-the-art solutions that enable faster and more engaging shopping experiences for their customers.
The number of in-store consumers connected to the Internet has doubled, according to a survey, titled: Digital Shopping Behavior In An Internet Of Everything World, released by Cisco Consulting Services. Today, 18% of shoppers are “Über Digital,” which means they regularly use smartphones for shopping decision-making ― up from 9% last year. In addition, 80% of U.S. consumers, or “Digital Mass Market” shoppers, now use the Internet to guide purchasing decisions.
This change in shopping behavior is creating a wake-up call for retailers: According to Cisco executives, retailers must get more connected with in-store customers to capture their share of the $99 billion in value now being created by the data-rich Internet of Everything (IoE).
Using a smartphone or tablet while shopping at brick-and-mortar locations, Über Digital consumers will “seek out digital information about products, prices and services online before and during the shopping experience,” Stine said. “Last year, Über Digital shoppers totaled roughly one in 10 customers. This year, the number is roughly one in five shoppers ― signaling a wakeup call for retailers to get connected. With the Internet influencing most buying decisions, retailers need to fully integrate online, mobile and in-store channels to attract this digitally connected consumer.”
Über Digital Behavior
Nearly every Über Digital shopping journey is digitally influenced, Stine said. In fact, these shoppers “expect an in-store experience that can provide the same kind of information they would have access to while shopping online. They expect access to content in-store and are increasingly looking for better values, information access and price visibility. In addition, 70% of Über Digitals start their shopping process online via their mobile phone or personal computer. Furthermore, showrooming is growing among this tech-savvy group: 59% reported that they regularly research products in-store before purchasing online.”
The Cisco report indicated that the future of shopping starts with demand for new IoE retail service concepts. Among them, at least 50% of Über Digitals preferred:
- Best personal price tracker apps (82%);
- Mobile concierge apps (66%);
- Gamification shopping experiences (55%);
- Consultation/assistance via video (50%); and
- Automated shopping lists (50%)
Building The Trust That Develops Personalization
Data is the fuel that will drive retail innovation and value creation in the years ahead, the report indicated. However, without greater attention to the issue of earning shopper trust, the promise of personalization may be an empty one. The lack of trust found in the Cisco shopping behavior survey results stands to prevent the U.S. retail industry from realizing the full economic value of IoE.
Specifically, the survey found that:
- Retailers need to build trust with the majority of consumers: Only 31% of Digital Mass Market shoppers rated the retail industry high in terms of merchants’ ability to protect personal data. In fact, retail was listed near the bottom when compared to other industries, including healthcare, financial services and government agencies;
- Personal information will be exchanged for discounts: Most (52%) digital shoppers are willing to share information if they get discounts on their next purchases;
- Personalized service wins Facebook friends: Almost half (44%) of Über Digital shoppers are willing to share information from Facebook in exchange for more personal service; and
- Consumers approve of in-store movement monitoring and turn-by-turn directions: Nearly half (47%) of Über Digital shoppers said it was “acceptable” for retailers to monitor their time spent in the store. Another 71% of Über Digital shoppers and 57% of Digital Mass Market shoppers found in-store turn-by-turn directions based on their location in-store to be “appealing.”
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