Online vs in-store shopping: convenience is key
, March 13, 2014
An overwhelming majority (91 per cent) of consumers find it easier to purchase in-store than either online or by mobile, while about 46 per cent said they plan to buy more online in future, according to a survey.
Accenture’s retail survey, which polled 15,000 respondents in 20 countries, suggested that retailers working to provide a seamless, cross-channel customer experience may need to re-think some aspects of their approach.
In mature markets, just 48 per cent now rank online shopping as convenient, versus 56 per cent in last year’s survey.
In key sectors such as consumer electronics, apparel and home improvement, shoppers are now webrooming (looking online then buying in-store) more than they are showrooming (looking in-store before buying online) - 54 per cent intend to webroom more often versus 48 per cent intending to showroom more often.
Meanwhile, consumers also want online to be more convenient. They value the ability to reserve a product online before viewing it in-store.
Regarding the service they would value the most, the highest ranked answer was the ability to check product availability across channels in real time, which would improve the experience, said the survey.
Consumers also want some of the convenience of online shopping to be transferred to stores. More than half of all global shoppers surveyed wanted additional services in-store via mobile devices, including being able to access shopping list, scanning products for more information and paying by phone.
The survey found that the basics of consumer loyalty remained the same - a convenient location, product assortment, the best prices and good customer service.
It also found that nearly 50 per cent of global shoppers are happy to provide retailers with their personal information, as long as it results in personalized offerings as promotions based on purchase history or subscription programmes.
Consumers’ attitudes toward fulfillment vary across the markets – with 29 per cent of consumers globally considering same-day delivery important, consolidating orders being very important for 70 per cent, and 75 per cent value convenient scheduling, which is more than they value speed.
Convenience trumped price when it came to returning a product as 42 per cent of respondents saying they would prefer to return an item purchased online to a nearby store, rather than take the cheapest option. - TradeArabia News Service