Commentary

The Consumer-Retailer Spread: Coupons, Deals & Finding Things

When it comes to improving a consumer’s shopping experience, it’s not only mobile that retailers need to worry about.

Besides there being somewhat of a gap between what mobile shoppers want and what retailers provide, as I wrote about here yesterday (45% Want Real-Time Mobile Promotions in Stores), there also seems to a wide range of shopping issues on the table.

When asked where retailers need to improve the shopping experience, about a third (32%) of consumers looked to the integration of the three shopping methods of online, mobile and in-store, according to Accenture.

But digging more deeply into the data, mobile doesn’t look so bad. Outside of channel integration, this is where consumers see retailers needing more work:

  • 39% -- In-store
  • 19% -- Online
  • 8% -- Mobile

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The consumer portion of the Accenture study is based on a survey of 750 U.S. adults and the retail benchmark part comprised the results of 150 questions used to assess multichannel offering across 32 retailers in the U.S., among 189 globally.

Another aspect of the research that caught my eye was that the most frequently cited top service that would improve the in-store experience was the ability to order out-of-stock items via mobile phone.

However, that percentage was only 19%, meaning most consumers see something else as the top service desired.

It turns out there’s a very large range of items at the top of the list, depending on the person, meaning there is hardly a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are services desired:

  • 19% -- Ability to order out-of-stock items by phone
  • 15% -- Free Wi-Fi
  • 14% -- Promotions sent to me by mobile when close to the store
  • 9% -- Interactive store display with product information
  • 8% -- Self-checkout via mobile phone
  • 6% -- Virtual store display on mobile
  • 5% -- Virtual checkout
  • 5% -- E-receipts

The point is that there is no one thing retailers can do to satisfy the majority of mobile shoppers; they are faced with having to do many things.

Another interesting insight in the research is what consumers use now and what they definitely would use through a smartphone if a retailer offered it. Here are the top combinations of both:

  • 53% -- Gather loyalty points and savings
  • 53% -- Real-time promotions
  • 46% -- Automatically credit all coupons
  • 36% -- Order out-of-stock items
  • 36% -- Shopping list and find items in the store

But that only shows part of the picture. It turns out that for some services, there’s a significant spread between what is offered now and what consumers would use if offered.

For example, only 8% of consumers get real-time promotions through their phones but 45% said they definitely would use them if a retailer offered them. In that case, the spread is 37%.

Here is the spread between what is currently offered compared to what a shopper definitely would use on their phone if a retailer offered it:

  • 42% -- Automatically credit all coupons
  • 37% -- Real-time promotions
  • 30% -- Shopping list and find items in the store
  • 28% -- Order out-of-stock items
  • 25% -- Gather loyalty points and savings

The top items on the list relate to coupons, deals and finding things in a store. And that’s the shopping list for retailers to support mobile consumers.

Mobile commerce is about being practical.

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