Shopper Expectations Outpace Retail Investments
Overall shopper satisfaction has significantly improved over the past decade, although shoppers are still not thrilled with retail staff availability and customer service.
While four in 10 shoppers surveyed in Zebra Technologies Corporation's 2017 Global Shopper Study cite being better connected to consumer information than store associates, more than half believe store associates armed with the latest technology improve the overall shopping experience. And although 44 percent of in-store and 53 percent of online shoppers remain not satisfied with the returns/exchange process, 62 percent of those surveyed appreciated associates' use of handheld mobile devices in-store.
Among the retail survey's key findings:
- Rising shopper expectations continue to outpace retailer in-store technology investments as a majority of millennial shoppers perceive that they are more connected than store associates (see chart).
- Shoppers want faster delivery, but many aren't willing to pay for it. Heightened customer expectations for delivery are transforming the retail landscape. While 66 percent of shoppers want next-day or same-day delivery and 37 percent prefer same-day or sooner, 27 percent would not want to pay for shipping at any speed.
- Retail customers want a variety of fulfillment options. Eighty percent of those surveyed purchase items in-store and either take them home or ship from store to home. Shoppers are also taking advantage of other fulfillment options, such as buy online-ship to home (64 percent), buy online-pick up in-store (34 percent), and buy online-ship to alternative location (15 percent).
- The use of tablets in stores is improving the shopper experience. More than half of surveyed shoppers believe technology is improving the shopping experience, with 57 percent specifically citing store associates using tablets.
- Out-of-stocks continue to plague retailers. When shopping in-store, 70 percent of shoppers have left without purchasing what they were seeking. When it comes to out-of-stock issues, however, retailers can recover six in 10 incidents with discounts or alternative fulfillment options, such as ship to home.