Commentary

What Drives Consumers: Pricing, Product Availability, User Reviews

Companies faced with implementing any form of mobile commerce already have a lot on their plate.

Businesses are dealing with issues relating to product pricing, new technologies and product information in addition to their mobile apps and websites, based on a new report.

The third annual retail benchmark survey Retail Insight: Fulfilling Consumer Expectations, conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR) for SPS Commerce, identified a host of issues companies face on the quest to meet evolving customer needs.

The report is based on a survey from executives from a range of departments at 214 companies, 65% of which were manufacturers, vendors or suppliers and 28% of which were retailers or distributors.

When it comes to external forces, most businesses are concerned about the economy while almost a third say they are concerned about mobile commerce, up from 19% a year ago. Here are the top external forces they see affecting their business in the next five years.

  • 67% -- Economy
  • 66% -- Consumer buying preferences
  • 38% -- New consumer technology
  • 31% -- Omni-channel retailing
  • 30% -- Mobile commerce
  • 24% -- Social media
  • 20% -- Globalization
  • 19% -- Politics, regulations

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An issue facing retailers is how they sell direct to their customers, which half of them do. Here are the methods, based on the RSR study:

  • 47% -- Our commerce site
  • 16% -- Our store
  • 8% -- Our mobile app
  • 1% -- Our kiosk

As yet another indication that price matters to shoppers, which tops the list of most mobile shopping studies, 85% of retailers, vendors and logistics providers say it is what consumers want. Here are the factors they say have impacted consumer buying decisions in the last year.

  • 85% -- Pricing
  • 62% -- Product availability
  • 53% - User reviews
  • 52% -- Product information
  • 41% -- Promotions
  • 38% -- Access to helpful employees in store
  • 34% -- Images/video
  • 31% - Breadth of product assortment
  • 28% -- Visibility in social media conversations
  • 23% -- Proximity-based promotions
  • 13% -- Digital experience within the store

The reality of meeting customer expectations by multiple methods is that merchants have a lot to do already.

When asked what’s hindering their omni-strategy and execution the majority (52%) said other priorities, more than a third (35%) said insufficient budget and almost a third (31%) said cultural resistance to change.

The roadblocks to mobile commerce are well beyond the technology.

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