Eight Expectations of the Global Shopper

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· Social media and mobile come of age.

·        59% of internet shoppers said they followed favourite brands or retailers via social media.

·        41% bought products through a tablet (compared with 28% in 2012), and 43% purchased products through a smartphone            (compared with 30% in 2012).

With consumers increasingly shopping via tablet and smartphone, over half (55%) of internet shoppers globally say they now buy online because they get better deals than in-store, according to new research from PwC.

The report Achieving Total RetailConsumer expectations driving the next retail business model shows how retailers need to develop a new, customer-focused business model to deliver on expectations for the store of the future.

PwC New Zealand’s Partner and Digital Market Leader Paul Brabin says, “The consumers want it all and they want it now. Retailers now have to figure out how to meet the expectations of today’s always-on, always-connected shoppers, and this, in a profitable way. We're seeing an increasing requirement for retailers to transform their businesses, not just simply adding more channels, and this is now more than ever being driven by the consumer. The speed in which consumer behaviours are changing is increasing as technology advances become more compelling.

“New Zealand consumers also expect retailers to compete in this global shopping environment. With Kiwi shoppers having so many options at the swipe of a finger and it being just as easy to buy offshore as it is locally  retailers need to think how they can up their game by doing more to engage customers, connect emotionally and offer a more personalised and enjoyable shopping experience.”

The report shows how technological empowered shoppers have eight expectations:

  1. A compelling brand story that promises a distinctive experience: shoppers are buying from a smaller number of retailers. By connecting emotionally, and telling a good story, retailers have an enormous opportunity to create loyalty, outside of the actual shopping experience, to pull-in customers.
  2. Customised offers based on totally protected, personal preferences and information: cyber-security continues to be a major issue, and shoppers demand a personalised retail experience based on their past purchases. Big data analytics give retailers the ability to offer a customised and more enjoyable shopping experience.
  3. An enhanced and consistent experience across all devices – online shoppers are slowly but surely embracing a range of devices to shop, but latent functionality issues must be addressed.
  4. Transparency, real time, into a retailer’s inventory – turning the tables, consumers want to benefit from retailers’ big data capabilities. They want the ability to check other store or online stock availability quickly, access to in-store WiFi, and new ways to pay.
  5. Favourite retails are everywhere – always-on and connected consumers mean more than open stores or an operational website – it means retailers must be ‘on their game’, open for engagement and interaction in every way the consumer is – social media, email, online shopping, telephone and in-store visits.              
  6. To maximise the value of mobile shopping, both store apps and mobile sites must improve –right now, shoppers are evenly split in their preference for mobile browsers versus apps.
  7. Two-way social media engagement – modern shoppers don’t want to just shop, they want to be heard.
  8. ‘Brands’ act like retailers, and we’ll treat them that way –the grey area of overlap between manufacturers and retailers has virtually been extinguished. Shoppers are increasingly willing to bypass retailers and buy directly from manufacturers online.

“Social media, big data analytics, improved online functionality and a better mash-up between in-store and online service offerings are the tools at our retailers’ disposal to allow them to compete in this global shopping market,” concludes Mr Brabin.

 

-Ends-

 

Notes to Editors

PwC commissioned an online global survey of 15,080 online shoppers from 15 territories in August and September 2013. New Zealand respondents did not participate in this survey.

PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

© 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved.


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