Shoppers say retailers should improve in-store experience, survey finds
By Jay Keller
Even with expanded purchase options and online enticements, most shoppers believe that retailers could do more to enhance the experience of shopping in a store, according to a new survey by SapientNitro.
The survey also found that U.S. shoppers are using brick-and-mortar stores in a different way. Many shoppers continue to use retail stores to browse products but plan to buy products at a later time online.
Savvy online shoppers in 2012 report putting all digital devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, PCs) to use at a higher rate than in 2011 — but these customers say they still want more.
According to the survey, 70 percent of respondents say “retailers could do more to enhance the in-store shopping experience” especially by having the ability to buy products in the store but have them shipped to their homes for free.
Additionally, shoppers who were surveyed said they wanted to be enticed with free Wi-Fi, in-store mobile offers and interactive kiosks that provide product recommendations or additional information.
In 2012, over 80 percent of shoppers researched and browsed for products using a digital device like a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
In fact, there was nearly a 20-percent increase in consumer activity using digital devices in 2012 over 2011, especially where shoppers made a purchase, used an email offer from a retailer, consulted a consumer-rating site and cashed in on a mobile coupon.
Among smartphone users, a majority would also like to view store circulars or flyers on their phone and have the option for mobile check-out by scanning their mobile phone.
A number of rising trends emerged in the SapientNitro survey about consumers who own smartphone and noted a few interesting things to watch for in the coming holiday seasons.
In 2012, there was a rise in shoppers using a GPS or location feature on their phone or tablet to help with holiday shopping. Also, more are using quick response codes (QR codes) and mobile apps to find more information about a product, especially those with a Black Friday or Cyber Monday theme.