Retailers Lag In Meeting Shoppers' Digital Expectations, Study Finds

Retailers are embracing digital marketing. But their investments have not kept pace with customer expectations, according to Retail’s Digital Crossroads, a study by Incisiv in partnership with Windstream Enterprise.

For example, 52% of shoppers value digital receipts via email or text. But only 43% of retailers have invested in them. 

And 71% of consumers want self-checkout. But only 42% of retailers are providing it. And 59% demand availability of customer Wi-Fi, yet only 47% are supplying it.

“Consumers clear value the ability to control their checkout experience,” the study notes. It adds: “Millennials and Gen-Z consumers value these capabilities 20-40% higher than the average.”

The store remains at the core of commerce and brand equity. But 75% of store visits are influenced by digital, and 46% of consumers use their mobile devices in the store 

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Of the latter, 83% use their devices to compare prices, 78% to look at reviews and 76% to check local store inventory. 

Prior to the visit, 76% use mobile devices to compare prices, 62% to see review and 47% to check out local store inventory. 

However, an execution gap remains between expectations and fulfillment. Only 38% have sufficiently invested in the ability to compare price, 23% to check inventory and 28% to allow mobile purchases for in-store pickup.

At the same time, 78% of retailers have overinvested in the function of letting customers find the location of the nearest store, 60% in helping them build a shopping list and 42% in sharing product details on social networks.

But digital now contributes 49% of consumer electronic sales and influences 16% of in-store purchases. And 40% of sporting goods sales are digital, along with 29% of apparel & footwear buys.

Incisiv and Windstream Enterprise surveyed 1,212 consumers across several generations. 

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