Study: Consumers want easy access to product, service information
Washington, D.C. -- An overwhelming majority (70%) of consumers around the globe say that the best way retailers can add value to their shopping experience is to provide easy access to information about their products and services, both online and in stores. That’s one of the key takeaways of a new consumer research study by Oracle.
The study, “Retail Without Limits — A Modern Commercial Society,” explores how a technology-powered “invisible hand” has transformed the retail environment and reveals lessons for retailers as they adapt to this new, nearly limitless retail marketplace. The findings reveal that consumers are driven by convenience and want a converged commerce experience, in which retailers combine the best of digital and in-person resources.
Consumers’ demand for transparency and access transcends formats and borders, according to the report. More than two-thirds of global consumers say that they are using smartphones to browse or buy products, and 56% have purchased direct from offshore international retailers.
Also, stores are increasingly involved in online orders. The report shows that the percentage of consumers who buy goods online and collect them continues to rise. Globally, 44% of consumers still prefer to shop in-store and take items home; in the United States, the percentage is higher, at 50%.
In other key findings from the Oracle report:
• The demand for transparency outstrips any other consumer requirement in terms of adding value to an experience (70%). Access to product information across digital channels or in-store is also rated highly by global respondents (59%).
• Mobile is the fastest growing method of shopping globally, with 67% of consumers stating they are using smartphones to enhance their shopping experiences.
• Fifty-six percent of consumers say they recognize that giving retailers access to information can improve their shopping experience, but retailers need to move cautiously and build trust, because 55% have reservations or disagree with retailers having access to personal information. And 23% are happy to download an app that allows retailers to track their movements in store and online.
“Consumers are enjoying an expanding global marketplace, and they are shopping it with the nearest mobile device,” said Jill Puleri, senior VP and general manager, Oracle Retail. “As retailers embrace this new global, mobile consumer they must also maintain profitability and lay the foundation for ongoing change.”
Oracle commissioned the study with Redshift Research in January 2015 to explore the expectations and habits of 5,000 adult shoppers via its online consumer panel.