Technology and the retail experience
Comarch’s recent research into our shopping attitudes revealed some surprising details. We conducted interviews with 3,029 people across six countries (UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Poland), asking them how they felt about key aspects of the retail experience.
Many retailers want to use personal data to help improve the services they provide, but personal data is a sensitive issue. What do we think about retailers collecting and using our data? What if the enhancements that retailers make to their products and services don’t meet our expectations?
Our research found that the UK doesn’t have a problem with sharing personal data, as long as sharing that data benefits us – in the form of personalised rewards. We also need to know that retailers are being transparent in how they’re using our data.
Forty-five percent of Brits are interested in receiving unique offers based on personal data. While Italians are more interested in personalised offers (56%), Germans are less keen to share their personal data, even if they get something as a result (only 34% would agree to share data).
In the UK market, 62% of young consumers (18 – 24 year olds) are keen to swap personal data for rewards, but this attitude declines for the older end of the market, with only 32% of the oldest age group (55 – 65 year olds) being receptive. Younger consumers have grown up with social media sharing, and are key users of the sharing economy, so perhaps exchanging information for rewards now comes more naturally to most.
UK consumers have key expectations around how retailers use their data. Eighty-eight percent of UK consumers expect to be rewarded if they allow a retailer to use their personal data for marketing reasons. While 90% want to see what kind of personal data is collected, 92% say it is important or quite important that retailers are transparent in how data is used.
Use of mobile while shopping
People can often be seen walking around stores with their mobiles out so it is not unexpected that 55% of UK consumers are happy to receive real-time personalised offers while in-store. In total, 29% of UK consumers would consider using real-time personalised offers sent to them while they’re near the store, for 18-24 year-olds this rises to 46% who would take advantage of the service.
It’s also interesting to note that 45% of consumers would consider using in-store mobile navigation to find their way to desired products. Men are a lot more receptive to this (54%) than women (36%).
Offline versus online
The industry often talks about retail in terms of online and in-store, but as shoppers we often don’t see it that way. Our survey revealed that UK consumers don’t see offline and online shopping as an either/or scenario. They simply pick whichever option suits them at the time.
A positive in-store shopping experience not only encouraged consumers to return the store (44%) but also encouraged more than a quarter (28%) to order online from the retailer. In addition, a positive online shopping experience encouraged almost a third of consumers (30%) to visit the physical store for more purchases. For consumers, shopping is more about the experience than methodology.
Many consumers used both channels when researching purchases. For example, when purchasing electronic goods like TVs and Hi-Fis, 60% of UK consumers will research items either online or in-store and then purchase through the other channel.
It’s clear that technology continues to have an impact on the shopping experience. As consumers, our expectations are constantly evolving to match the new technology that retailers introduce. It’s important for retailers to prize their loyal customers, keeping up with their expectations regarding rewards and responsibilities to keep the customer a happy one.
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