Delivering The Goods: What Shoppers Want Online And In-Store

Technology may be inserting itself into all areas of the consumer experience. But people are wary of the more advanced applications, judging by Using Retail Tech Innovation To Enhance the Customer Experience, a paper by Euromonitor International and the National Retail Federation, written by Michelle Evans. 

For example, relatively small percentages of shoppers are comfortable with these technologies: 

  • Robots guiding me to specific products within a store — 42%
  • Brands personalizing experiences to my mood — 27%
  • Companies automatically reordering products on my behalf — 26%
  • Having a microchip implanted into finger to enable purchase — 20%
  • Companies using DNA to improve recommendations — 19%

This suggests that shoppers are far less relaxed about hyper-personalization and subscription reordering than is commonly assumed. 



Not that most of these more advanced functions are top of mind for marketers. In a related survey last November, brands said that these tech-related initiatives were accelerated by COVID-19:

  • Expansion of mobile applications and platforms 
  • Tailored marketing or personalized recommendations 
  • Enhanced website search or site navigation
  • Development or improvement of omnichannel presence
  • Fulfillment and logistics to improve delivery efficiency.

The question remains: What do consumers want when shopping online? Mostly, they are concerned about that most basic function: delivery and the associated costs. 

Roughly a third of consumers welcome text or email update notifications. But 68% seek free delivery above all. 

Free returns and package tracking are also popular services with each chosen by 50%, followed by the ability to choose the delivery date/time. And roughly 30% of consumers want next-day or same-day delivery.  

Delivery also has an impact on shopping-cart abandonment, with a third of consumers citing unexpected shipping costs as the main reason for abandoning a cart. 

Overall, 75% of connected consumers have abandoned a purchase, 51% because of delivery-related hurdles. And 44% blame payment-related reasons.  

And for shopping in-store? The preferred features include:

  • Select items and immediately walk out of store with purchase executed
  • Scan items while shopping and make payment via mobile phone
  • Earn loyalty points when entering with the assistance of facial recognition
  • Use a cart or basket with sensors that automatically scans products when added
  • Virtual fitting rooms that show you how the product will fit

Here’s one other data point: The study predicts that food and drink ecommerce will grow by 8% in 2021. Petcare is second, consumer appliances third.

The annual consumer survey was fielded in March 2021 across 20 countries, with 1,000 responses captured per country. 


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