By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Consumers want integration of mobile and in-store capabilities to facilitate shopping.
Consumers are eager to see integration of mobile and in-store capabilities that will facilitate their shopping experiences, while most millennials utilize click-and-collect, according to the findings of a new survey. Consumers want more in-store technology that allows them to access greater volumes of information and they think that the technology is ripe to do just that.
The study found that, by 2020, consumers want to:
- Have access to information regarding product and size availability in store without engaging a sales associate (62 percent);
- Have the ability to virtually view how home furnishings and accessories will look in their home before making a purchase (55 percent);
- Be able to compile a shopping list on a store app and have access to a floor map of the store to easily locate products (54 percent).
“Consumers are the drivers of demand, and they’ve made it clear they want more technology integrated into their shopping experience,” explained President of CEO of ICSC Tom McGee. “Our study shows that consumers are calling for access to more information in stores. The retailers who innovate in this area, making the experience more efficient and the consumer better informed, will win at the register.”
Consumers already use technology throughout their entire shopping journey. Click-and-collect is the best example of such technology, where 73 percent of consumers have made a purchase via mobile and picked it up in a store.
The study also found:
- 87 percent of Millennials and 79 percent of Generation X use their mobile device to make a click-and-collect purchase;
- 71 percent of consumers have one or more retailer apps on their phones and 74 percent of them access these apps at least once a week;
- 86 percent of Millennials access a retailer app weekly and members of Generation X and the Baby Boomer generation, 74 percent and 61 percent, respectively;
- 37 percent of consumers have used a digital assistant (i.e., Siri) to build shopping lists or to place orders to later pick up items in stores;
- 35 percent of consumers have used a mobile pay option.
“Technology creates innumerable opportunities for retailers to better reach – and convert – consumers,” continued McGee. “Collecting data on a shopper’s specific buying habits can create a healthier connection. Through closely understanding the wants and needs of shoppers, retailers can drive more store visits and create a stronger bond.”
The desire for better integration of technology does not negate the importance of quality customer service and knowledgeable sales associates, however, as another recent study revealed. Ali Asaria, CEO of Tulip Retail. “But there’s also some really good news for retailers that our survey uncovered – knowledgeable store associates are valued by shoppers, and those empowered with mobile technology are delivering better shopping experiences. Bottom line, investing in store associates needs to be a high priority. With the right tools, they can become beacons of knowledge, trusted advisors and drive sales.”