Oracle unveils shopper expectations in Evolution of Experience Retailing research

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The Evolution of Experience Retailing

British consumers want what the global marketplace has to offer with three quarters (76%) stating the internet offers no barriers to where they can shop. That’s one of the key findings of new Oracle research.

The Evolution of Experience Retailing research examined the views of consumers in the UK, USA, Germany, Russia, Brazil, China and Japan on fundamental retail principles including customer service, overall experience, preference, shopping trends and attitudes to technology. 

Price is the top priority when shopping, listed by 76% of UK consumers, followed by choice and convenient store locations.

Although British consumers are relatively open to sharing information with retailers, in comparison to other mature economies, there is an expectation for lower prices and exclusive offers that are ‘good for me’ in return for engaging in a more collaborative relationship with a retailer, researchers found.

While respondents prefer not to shop on their mobile device, interpretations of personalisation relate most strongly to receiving offers and discounts to their mobiles (21%), followed by a willingness to be identified when shopping online (13%).

Key research findings from the UK:

Do consumers value the global marketplace?

  • 76% believe there are no barriers to shopping in an online world (70% globally)
  • 69% will source items globally to get the best price (62% globally)
  • 43% do not care about source when shopping globally (41% globally)
  • 60% agree global provides the best choice (50% globally)

What elements of service truly matter?

90% rate service as very or fairly important when shopping (88% globally)

Good service is defined as:

  • 64% say a quick and easy payment process (67% globally)
  • 54% say the right products available for me at point of purchase (61% globally)
  • 53% say knowledgeable store associates (52% globally)
  • 54% say a simple, integrated returns process across channels (52% globally)
  • 54% say flexible delivery options (52% globally)

Bad service is defined as:

  • 74% say unfriendly associates (72% globally)
  • 73% say unhelpful associates (65% globally)
  • 63% say poor knowledge by associates (62% globally)
  • 52% say poor fulfilment (59% globally)
  • 50% say a difficult or complicated returns process (55%)

What are the most common responses to a poor service or experience:

  • 53% actively recommend against a retailer (55% globally)
  • 63% expect money back or a gift (54% globally)
  • 45% switch to a competitor right away (53% globally)
  • 48% never go back to that retailer (51% globally)
  • 46% give a company a second chance (39% globally)

Only 34% would go online to share a bad experience (37% globally)

Do retailers understand what customers expect from their experiences?

75% rate the experience as very or fairly important when shopping (72% globally)

In store, experience is defined as:

  • 40% say product showcases (62% globally)
  • 59% say a vibrant, engaging store environment (56% globally)

Online, experience is defined as:

  • 66% say an easily navigable site (61% globally)
  • 59% say shopping anytime, anywhere (56% globally)

Price, choice and store location are the most important factors in deciding where to shop

Are retailers getting personalisation right?

49% rate personalisation as important (54% globally)

Personalisation is defined as:

  • 36% say receiving offers/discounts based on my preferences while in store (39% globally)
  • 40% say receiving offers/discounts based on my preferences while not in store (39% globally)
  • Only 29% say access to a single shopping basket across channels (36% globally)

Are retailers getting customer communication right?

When do customers want to interact with retailers?

  • 58% want order and delivery updates (51% globally)
  • 44% want to receive the latest information about products and services that are right for me (50% globally)
  • 43% only when instigated by them (44% globally)
  • 51% willing to share personal information in exchange for better services and offers (45% globally)

In return for sharing information, customers expect:

Lower prices, a safe and secure shopping environment and exclusive offers that are right for me

Do retailers understand where customers source their information?

  • 74% use brand reputation as a source of information when choosing which retailer to buy from (71% globally)
  • 71% value advice from friends and family (70% globally)
  • 66% use customer reviews online (69% globally)
  • 43% value information provided by the retailer (42% globally)

Are retailers responding to the impact of social media?

  • 29% rate the importance of recommendations on social networks as important (34% globally)
  • 26% follow retail brands on social media networks (29% globally)
  • 34% would share negative experiences online (37% globally)
  • 24% actively seek out reviews of brands/products (37% globally)

UK responses based on 538 male and female respondents. Global responses based on 3,577 male and female responses, of which 521 from Brazil, 500 from China, 502 from Germany, 502 from Japan, 508 from Russia, 538 from the UK and 506 from the USA.