News Release

Wake-Up Call for Retailers to Get Stores Connected, with 1 in 5 Shoppers Connected In-Store

Cisco study reveals a doubling of U.S. consumers that shop via smartphones, and 80 percent of consumers use the Internet to guide purchasing decisions
Jan 13, 2014

National Retail Federation (NRF) 103rd Convention & Expo, Booth 1954

NEW YORK Jan. 13, 2014 – The fourth-annual research study of shopper behavior by Cisco Consulting Services revealed a doubling of consumers that are connected to the Internet when they shop in brick-and-mortar stores.  This change in shopping behavior is creating a wake-up call for retailers to become more connected with their customers in the store to capture their share of the $99 billion in value now being created by the data-rich Internet of Everything (IoE) (Source: Cisco IoE for Retail Industry Study). The research also revealed shoppers’ interest in eight IoE retail service concepts for brick-and-mortar stores currently being tested and piloted by leading retailers. 

According to the research findings, 80 percent of U.S. consumers, or “Digital Mass Market” shoppers, use the Internet when they shop.  And a growing percentage of “Über-Digitals” shoppers, who regularly use their smartphones for their shopping decision-making, the number nearly doubled to 18 percent of the sampled population. Today’s shoppers are more connected and expect a more integrated online and in-store shopping experience.

At the NRF Big Show Conference and Expo, Jon Stine, North America Retail Lead Consulting Services will present the key findings of the study titled, “Digital Shopping Behavior in an Internet of Everything World.”  He will also share how retailers can create a more immersive and connected experience that is demanded by today’s shoppers. Cisco and its partners will also demonstrate (booth 1954) state-of-the-art solutions that enable retailers to provide faster and a more engaging shopping experience to their customers in an IoE world. Key technology demonstrations include Mobile TV Coupons, SmartLockers solutions, Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences, and Cisco Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail.

Key Research Highlights
The key findings below are the result of an online survey of 1,174 participants that are representative of the U.S. broadband population.

The Internet influences most buying decisions, calling for retailers to fully integrate online, mobile and in-store channels

  • Online sources have strong influence over most purchasing decisions: When asked what sources of information are most trusted when making purchasing decisions, 63 percent of Über-Digital shoppers cited ratings and reviews found on retailer web sites. This compares to 40 percent who looked to friends and family, and 12 percent who turned to retail store associates.
  • Omnichannel shopping begins on-line: More than 70 percent of Über-Digital shoppers regularly begin their shopping journeys online via their mobile phone or their personal computer.
  • “Showrooming” buying behavior continues to grow among consumers:  Roughly six in 10 (59 percent) of this tech-savvy group reported that they regularly research products in stores before purchasing the products online.  In comparison, Digital Mass Market shoppers are much less likely to showroom: fewer than four in 10 (39 percent).
  • Half of consumers prefer to use retailer’s mobile apps when “showrooming:” Although 75 percent of Über-Digital shoppers expect access to information/Internet when shopping, half of consumers (51 percent) prefer to use the retailer’s mobile app when shopping in the store.

Consumers are willing to exchange personal data for more valued services

  • Discounts for personal information: The majority (52 percent) of digital shoppers are willing to share information with retailers if they get discounts on their next purchase. The majority of Digital Mass Market shoppers are willing to share basic information, such as purchase history (57 percent), name and age (56 percent), and likes and dislikes (48 percent).  Fewer shoppers are willing to share their location (20 percent), current products they use (27 percent) or purchases from other retailers (24 percent).
  • Personalized service wins Facebook friends: Almost half (44 percent) of Über-Digital shoppers are willing to share information from Facebook in exchange for more personal service.
  • Monitoring customer movement in the store vs. in-store turn-by-turn directions: Nearly half of Über-Digital shoppers think it is acceptable for retailers to monitor their time spent in the store (47 percent), location in the store (44 percent), and products you try but don’t buy (43 percent). However, 71 percent of Über-Digital shoppers and 57 percent of Digital Mass Market shoppers found in-store turn-by-turn directions based on their location in-store appealing.
  • Retailers need to build trust with a majority of consumers: Only 31 percent of Digital Mass Market shoppers rated retailers high in their trust to protect their personal data. Retail was near the bottom of the list when compared with other industries, such as healthcare, financial services, and government agencies

The future of shopping starts with demand for new IoE retail service concepts

  • Gamification shopping experience: 55 percent of Über-Digital shoppers and 34 percent of all consumers are interested in scavenger hunt promotions that offer consumers special discounts if they scan/collect QBR codes while shopping through a store(s). Retailers that offer “beat the clock” specials that offer consumers special discounts if the consumer clicks on a pop-up window while shopping on-line or on a smartphone generated interest from 56 percent of Über-Digital shoppers and 35 percent of all consumers.
  • Mobile concierge app: 66 percent of Über-Digital shoppers and 42 percent of all shoppers were interested in retail mobile apps that greet consumers as they enter a store, and guides the consumer with turn-by-turn directions to the shelf where the desired products are located in the store.
  • Best personal price tracker app: 82 percent of Über-Digital shoppers and 63 percent of Digital Mass Market consumers were interested in retail mobile apps that automatically collect and calculate a consumers’ personalized offers, personalized coupons, and loyalty points.
  • Consultation/assistance via video: 50 percent of Über-Digital shoppers and 29 percent of all consumers were interested in getting on-demand advice from stylists, designers, product specialists, do-it-yourself home improvement consultants, and other experts via video when shopping in the store. 
  • Automated shopping lists: 50 percent of Über-Digital shoppers and 29 percent of all consumers were interested in retailers offering suggested shopping lists for home improvement projects, recipes, and accessories for outfits via webpage or digital signs in the store.
  • Automated in-store pick-up: When ordering online and picking up merchandise in the store, consumer interest varies by store type; 44 percent at consumer electronic stores, 35 percent at home improvement stores, 30 percent at apparel/fashion stores, and 22 percent at grocery stores.

Some of these retail service concepts will be demonstrated at NRF: see Cisco NRF webpage for more information.

Supporting Quotes

Jon Stine, North America Lead, Retail, Cisco Consulting Services: 
"Today’s mobile phone is a remote control for shopping.  The growing trend of consumers using mobile phones when shopping in the store is a wake-up call for retailers.  The retailers that will win more revenues from customers today and in the future will be the ones that offer the best online experience and integrate it with the consumers’ in-store shopping experience."

Supporting Resources:

Technorati Tags: Cisco, Cisco Consulting Services, retail, collaboration, shopping, mobility, Internet of Everything, IoE, mobile shopping, showrooming, online shopping; online reviews, Remote Expert, video

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