You are here
Consumers across the United States and Canada are opting to shop at retailers that give them more control over interaction across a range of channels, including social media and smart phones, a new study commissioned by Duluth, Ga.-based NCR Corp. has found.
According to the research, which was conducted last month by New York-based BuzzBack Market Research among over 1,000 North American respondents, 67 percent of consumers switch between retailers to obtain price discounts and amass a greater number of loyalty points. Consumers also employ technology more when hunting for the best bargains, with 66 percent using the Internet more often to research products and price before purchasing.
Another factor influencing loyalty is consumers’ desire for more control through a seamless experience across multiple channels. That is, shoppers want personalized offers and information according with their individual preferences, and they’d like to receive them wherever they are, by Internet, on mobile phones or in physical stores. A whopping 81 percent of those surveyed said they’re more likely to pick retailers that enable them to interact via their preferred combination of online, mobile, self-service and in-store channels.
“Consumers are time-starved, value-driven and digitally enabled,” noted Mike Webster, vice president and general manager of NCR’s retail and hospitality business. “They are frustrated by inconsistent shopping experiences across channels. Retailers must deliver more personalized, unified interactions whether their customers are on the Web, in the store or using their mobile device. For retailers to respond to this new era of converged retailing, they require solutions that bring these channels together.”
The research found that 42 percent of respondents want information to be consistent across multiple channels, with 81 percent believing that companies should do more to integrate social media channels into their communications offerings. For instance, retailers need to create incentives for consumers to join their blogs, message boards or social networks, and then use these means to hold relevant dialogues with their customers.
As more consumers buy and become familiar with smart phone capabilities, 41 percent of those polled said they wanted to be able use their cell phones while on the go to find a store or restaurant. Slightly more respondents (42 percent) also want to download coupons to their phones for use at a store, while 40 percent want to use camera-equipped cell phones in stores to scan barcodes and locate the best prices.
As well as the value of consistent experience across channels, the research also looked at the value consumers assign to personalization, including language, payment method, brand preference and receipt type. Forty-four percent of those surveyed agreed that retail shopping or restaurant ordering would be quicker if they had a personalized experience.
As a way that a supermarket retailer could leverage these insights, NCR offered the following example. A consumer could register for a grocer’s loyalty program online, indicating how she’d like to receive promotions. The consumer could then build her shopping list online, compare the best prices and get recipe suggestions that integrate her shopping history with weekly specials and select coupons to be automatically loaded to her rewards card. When the shopper goes to the store, she could also receive offers on her cell phone or stop by a kiosk to view wine or recipe suggestions that complement her shopping list, tailored to her individual preferences. Finally, then the customer checks out, all coupons and promotions would be automatically linked to her rewards card, eliminating the need to clip and present paper coupons.
To download a whitepaper containing more detailed findings of the research, visit www.ncr.com/c-tailing.