In-Store Shopping Getting More Play, But With Conditions
Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice, notes that “… survey results indicate that retailers have an opportunity to increase in-store sales… only if they make the experience worthwhile… such as information (online) on product availability… available in-store… street retailers must… differentiate (their) shopping experience… compared to online pure-plays… “
19% of shoppers said they are using “click and collect” services (reserving or buying an item online and then traveling to a store to collect it,) compared to 12% who said the same in the previous survey. And more shoppers (14% compared to 7%) are buying in-store and having the product shipped to their home.
The ability to check product availability online before traveling to a store is the service that would most improve the shopping experience for 31% of U.S. shoppers surveyed. And, 89% of respondents said they would either travel to a store to make a purchase or buy online if retailers offered this real-time information.
The study found that 78% of U.S. shoppers had webroomed (browsing online and then going to a store to make their purchase) in the 12 months before the latest survey, while 72% had showroomed (going into a physical store to see a product and then searching online for a better price and purchasing online). The proportion of shoppers, who engaged in webrooming for consumer electronics and home improvement purchases, increased significantly from 2012 from 39% to 48%, and 25% to 35%, respectively.
The report says that 57% of respondents said that waiting for free delivery was the most important delivery option from either an online pure-play or a multi-channel retailer, compared to 23% who preferred to pay a reasonable charge for next-day delivery. In the 2012 study, though, just 25% of respondents said they expected a free-delivery purchase to arrive within one to five days, while in the latest survey, that number jumped to 44%.
Donnely says that “… online pure-play retailers that offer faster delivery in return for an annual subscription, are having a profound impact on shoppers’ expectations… but they are not always willing to wait as long to get it… ”
The study found that 51% of consumers expect a retailer’s product offerings to be the same across different shopping channels compared to 43% in the previous study. 57% also expect promotions to be the same across channels and 69% expect prices to be the same.
The survey results, according to the report, indicate that many retailers are not providing a seamless customer experience in some key areas. Only 31% of shoppers said that their customer accounts were completely connected across in-store and online channels, and just 32% said that they were able to earn and use loyalty points across multiple channels. In addition, the proportion of shoppers who believe they will secure a better price online rose from 21% to 31%.
Donnely concludes that “… delivering a seamless experience across all retail touch points remains both a key challenge and prime opportunity for retailers today… “
For more information about this study, please visit the Infographic here.