- Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez |
In a world where shopping experiences are influenced by digital in 75 percent of cases, digital already directly drives more than a third of all retail sales, and it further influences a much higher percentage, concludes a recent report by BRP & Windstream Enterprise.
‘Retail’s Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations’ study reveals that within the apparel and shoes segment, digital sales make 29 percent of total sales, whereas 17 percent of store sales are attributed to digital.
A retailer with 1 billion dollars in annual revenue could potentially gain circa 260 million dollars by delivering a great in-store experience. Furthermore, reinventing the store to truly integrate digital and analogical can help retain consumers and grow their value by approximately 25 percent while acquiring new consumers from competitors.
Digital technology investment requires better alignment with consumers’ demands
However, digital in-store technology investment is misaligned as retailers’ investments haven’t kept pace with consumer expectations. Consumers value technologies that help them shop and pay at their pace, clearly favouring those retailers that give them the ability to control their checkout experience.
On a related note, while 71 percent of consumers rate highly the option of using self-checkout, just 42 percent of retailers are able to offer it. Being able to check out via mobile app is a priority for 50 percent of consumers, whereas just 42 percent of retailers actually offer this option.
Having access to WiFi at the store is regarded by the majority of consumers as a key feature, something that retailers agree on and have invested heavily into over the past years. In fact, today’s consumers see WiFi enhancing their shopping experience, with younger demographics such as Millennials and Gen-Z rating these capabilities 20-40 percent higher than the average.
Sixty eight of consumers more likely to choose retailers that offer automated returns
Returns are a huge consumer and retailer pain point, so much so that 68 percent of consumers are more likely to buy at a retailer that offers automated returns capability versus one that doesn’t. But, even if a handful of retailers, including Walmart, are testing it, it’s just 37 percent of retailers that understand the impact this feature would have on their sales with just 8 percent already offering automated returns processes.
According to this study, mobile is at the heart of retailers’ investments: 50 percent of surveyed retailers plan to invest in mobile POS over the next 12 months, while in-store mode for the app will lead the investment for 44 percent of retailers. Other technologies getting substantial funding over the next year are associate tools (invested in by 42 percent of retailers) and contactless payment (38 percent pf retailers will put money into this technologies.)
The Retail’s Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations report, based on research conducted by Incisiv, combines findings from surveys of 1,212 retail consumers and 60 retail executives to understand the effect digital has on the shopping experience.