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    Study reveals disconnect between shoppers and retailers

    Time:2019-01-25 09:54:12    Share:

    Results of a new survey from Oracle NetSuite, Wakefield Research and The Retail Doctor highlight disconnects between what shoppers want and what retailers deliver.

    “Consumers feel more alone, confused and less confident when they are shopping in-store,” said Bob Phibbs, CEO of The Retail Doctor. “More than 90% of people go into a store for a feeling. They want to get a sense that they matter. In my experience, people who feel they matter buy more. This is a wake-up call to all retailers.”

    Phibbs says despite significant investments to enhance the customer experience both online and in-store, retailers are not able to keep up with rapidly changing customer expectations. In fact, the survey shows 80% of consumers do not feel they are provided with a personalized shopping experience both in-store and online.

    Retail store findings

    • 73% of retail executives believe that the overall environment in retail stores has become more inviting in the past five years. Only 45% of consumers agree, with 19% stating it has become less inviting.
    • 80% of retail executives believe that consumers would feel more welcome if in-store staff interacted with them more. Less than half (46%) of consumers agree, with 28% noting they would feel more annoyed.
    • 98% of retail executives believe artificial intelligence and virtual reality will increase foot traffic, but only 48% of consumers agree.
    • 97% of consumers say there is a need to go into a physical store to purchase items, and 79% of them believe the most appealing retail stores have features that simplify and streamline the shopping experience.
    • The top features attracting customers to physical stores are: simpler store layouts at 35%, staff being able to order on a mobile device at 29% and in-store kiosks that expand the selection at 23%.

    Online findings

    • 79% of retail executives believe chatbots are meeting consumer needs, but 66% of consumers disagree, with respondents noting that chatbots are currently more damaging to the shopping experience than helpful.
    • 58% of consumers are uncomfortable with the way stores use technology to improve personalization in their shopping experience.
    • 79% of retail executives believe having AI and VR in stores will increase sales, but only 14% of consumers believe those technologies will have a significant impact on their purchase decisions.
    • The top technology advancements that consumers want to use online are VR try-on (23%) and mobile payments/financing options (15%). Only 5% of consumers say they enjoy interacting with robots and chatbots.

    The survey’s conductors interviewed 1,200 consumers and 400 retail executives from the U.S., U.K. and Australia about the overall retail environment, in-store and online shopping experiences and advanced technologies.

    “The results of this survey show that … there’s still a long way to go to meet shopper expectations,” said Matthew Rhodus, Oracle NetSuite’s director of retail. “What this means is the opportunity for retailers is tremendous.”

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