By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer
Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, a research firm that studies consumer engagement for retailers and marketers, has released the results of their annual survey on shopping behavior. Where It's At: Consumer Shopping Behavior charts how customers are shopping, and the use of connected technologies on the path of browsing to purchase. The survey questioned more than 2,608 respondents on their current shopping behavior, from pre-shop to determining what to buy, in a bid to see how retailers and marketers can simplify the purchase process.
“Gone are the days of retailers only worrying about keeping up with their competitors. Today, the key to winning at retail is keeping up with your customers,” says Rodney Mason, GVP of Marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, an international incentives and engagement company. “By charting where shoppers are landing as they explore new shopping territories, retail marketers can position their businesses in front of the competition and closer to targeted and underserved customers.”
Price Still a Factor, Consumers Don't Need Traditional Payment Options
Price is still on consumers' minds, as the survey shows that 49 percent of respondents have the same sensitivity to price as they did last year, and 47 percent of respondents are more sensitive to price than last year. The price of items also ranked number one in influencing consumer purchase behavior, followed by quality (2), brand (3), store (4), and availability (5).
While price is still at the forefront of most consumers' shopping decisions, how they pay is entering in the new technological age, as 54 percent of shoppers would like to use a mobile wallet over traditional wallets if the mobile wallet were accepted everywhere. Even without a universal mobile wallet option, 34 percent of shoppers are currently using a mobile wallet app, and 20% would stop carrying a traditional wallet altogether if mobile payments and IDs were accepted everywhere. Eve now, consumers are phasing out the idea of “cash is king,” 2 out of 5 consumers also say that they carry less than $20 in their traditional wallet.
Mobile payment app use is rising, and the respondents surveyed are certainly on board with the option. The survey shows that for many, PayPal is their first choice, with 85% using the service, followed by Amazon (24%), Google (23%) and Apple Pay (19%).
Consumers Shop Where and When They Want
Today's consumer isn't bound to their desk when shopping for a new purchase, nor are they waiting to do it while at home. 37 percent of respondents admitted to shopping while at work, while 18 percent say they “shop often,” and 19 percent say they “shop sometimes.” When it comes to shopping at home, 58 percent say they shop at home while watching TV.
Many retailers offer the ease of Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) and consumers see the option's potential, and would like to see a benefit in terms of price or shipping waits. Of those surveyed, 86 percent of consumers would consider BOPIS if they were able to save $10 on a $50 item, and 78 percent would considering making a purchase online, then picking it up in store to receive it 3 days earlier. 45 percent of consumers have used BOPIS in the last six months. Online retailer Amazon has introduced new ways for consumers to get their products quick, and 32 percent of respondents say they would pay $8 extra to get their purchase delivered on the same day.
Consumers Don't Equate Loyalty with Savings
Retailers from Taco Bell to Macy's often loyalty programs, but the survey finds that consumers don't necessarily view loyalty programs as a savings option. Only 15 percent say they believe loyalty programs provide the most savings on their purchases, while 73 percent are members of loyalty programs. 62 percent of those consumers who belong to a loyalty program are happy with their experience in the program(s). When asked about the places where the most value was delivered, 51 percent say sales deliver the greatest value, 26 percent say coupons, and 8 percent chose another option.
The survey also examines how consumers view promotional offers, how many consumers follow companies on social media, the power of rebates and other retailer and marketer incentives traditionally offered to consumers, as well as what verticals have the most price comparison, and more. The final report is now available in PDF from BlackHawk Engagement Solutions.
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