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Industry Research : The Cognizant Study Explores European Shopper Perceptions and Expectations

#contactcenterworld, @cognizant
Cognizant’s European Shopper Study 2015/16 explores European shopper perceptions of retail today and understands what they want from retailers tomorrow. Below is a snapshot of key media coverage.

"Today’s shoppers who use the online, mobile and in-store options available to them know the price they are willing to pay, and the level of service they expect to receive in return," says Steven Skinner, Senior Vice-President of Retail and Consumer Goods Consulting at Cognizant. "They are adept at researching products, comparing prices and exploring delivery options. They know what they want."

Skinner adds, "Just as technology has given shoppers more information, it is helping retailers too. Digital technologies—such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) as well as sensors—allow retailers to track and understand customer behavior in unprecedented detail. This customer knowledge can help retailers identify and invest in the tools and technologies their customers really value. What’s more, digital technology also helps retailers monitor stock availability, communicate availability of in-store, digitally-enabled sales assistants, and help consumers to self-serve and find information on products more easily. Overall, this will help retailers improve customer loyalty and increase sales."

Forbes, UK: Brand experience takes center stage over price for UK shoppers, study shows:

"With the capability to directly affect retail strategies, the study shows that shopping does not end with the sale. Service and after-sale support, such as the ease of returns, is a huge contributing factor in the choice of retailer, Cognizant found.

"In fact, 25 percent say they would choose a good returns policy over price. The rise of social media has also led to over half of shoppers (57 percent) writing reviews of their experiences online. Therefore, what happens during or after a shopping trip can have a huge impact on a retailer’s brand image – and ultimately the bottom line.

  • "The recent news highlighting the rise of fake reviews showcases just how important reviews are in today’s retail market where consumers can make decisions to continue with or abort purchases based on the feedback from others.
  • "UK retailers are continuing to innovate and introduce new online and in-store technologies such as beacons and location-based services to improve the customer experience. The study found that shoppers want interactive features that directly influence their purchase. Fifty eight percent say they read product reviews online and 48 percent use a mobile to select a product color or size.
  • "However, most shoppers are not interested in engaging with social media or technology unless it directly affects their purchasing decision and 56 percent say they are unlikely to use offers from retailers based on their current location, researchers found."
  • "When customers purchase items online and pick them up in the shop, most are tempted to buy more while they are at the store. As such, E-commerce provides solid sales in physical stores when the customer picks up the goods. More than half of those buying online, buy for extra items when they pick up their goods.
  • "The high proportion emphasizes that the interaction between e-commerce and shopping can be a benefit for both consumers and for retailers. Therefore, more and more retail chains offer customers the option to order online and pick up their items in the store.
  • "According to a survey by Cognizant, the percentage of Danish shoppers who buy online and are tempted to pick up more items when they are in the store is 53 percent. 1000 Danish consumers participated in the survey."
  • "A survey of 6,000 European consumers conducted by Cognizant shows that they are willing to pay a higher price for a product. Click and Collect in particular may lead to additional purchases.
  • "The European retail sector continues to undergo a period of unprecedented transformation. Digital technologies and omnichannel shopping have increased the pace of change, bringing in new competition and challenging established merchants. Many retailers are struggling to stay ahead of the game.
  • "At the heart of this change is the rapid shift in customer expectations."

"With a sales volume of 52 billion euros in 2015, Germany is now Europe’s second largest online retail market after the UK. However, despite burgeoning sales 2015 is the fifth consecutive year of growth retailers remain under pressure.

"According to Cognizant’s Shopper Experience Study, German consumers are no longer guided exclusively by price when they make purchase decisions. Although the price does still matter, quality, good advice and a superior customer experience all play an increasingly important role.

"The survey’s key finding is that consumers are no longer exclusively looking to buy as cheaply as possible, with many respondents citing factors such as better guarantees (48 percent) or loyalty programs (26 percent) as reasons for not simply going with the cheapest retailer.

"Customer loyalty programs, in particular, are among the main drivers of the growth in German retail sales, with the largest program, Payback, already boasting in excess of 27 million members."

MarketingOnline, the Netherlands: 43 percent of Dutch shoppers say they compare prices on their smartphones when browsing in-store

"The Dutch Shopper Experience Study shows that shopping is not all about finding the best deals. The survey, conducted with 1,000 shoppers to explore their perceptions of retail today and understand what they want from retailers tomorrow, shows that convenience, shipping costs and loyalty programs have a big impact on where Dutch consumers shop.

"For instance over half (57 percent) of Dutch shoppers are members of at least one loyalty program and more than one third (35 percent) say shipping costs are the most important reason for not choosing the cheapest retailer.

"With the capability to directly affect retail strategies, the study shows that shopping does not end with the sale. Service and after-sale support, such as the ease of returns and convenience, is a huge contributing factor in the choice of retailer. In fact, 28 percent say they would pay more for a product because it was convenient.

"The rise of social media has also led to almost half of shoppers (42 percent) writing a review of their experiences online. Therefore, what happens during or after a shopping trip can have a huge impact on a retailer’s brand image?and ultimately the bottom line.

"The recent news highlighting the rise of fake reviews showcases just how important reviews are in today’s retail market where consumers can make decisions to continue with or abort purchases based on the feedback from others.

"Dutch retailers are continuing to innovate and introduce new online and in-store technologies such as beacons and location-based services to improve the customer experience. The study found that shoppers want interactive features that directly influence their purchase. Half of the respondents say they are likely to read product reviews on their mobile and the same number (50 percent) is likely to use a mobile to select a product color or size.

"However, most shoppers are not interested in engaging with social media or technology unless it directly affects their purchasing decision and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say they are unlikely to use offers from retailers based on their current location. Additionally, 21 percent say they would rather not share personal information in return for better loyalty offers."

Retailwatching, the Netherlands: The retail perceptions of Dutch consumers

"Convenience, shipping and loyalty programs have a major impact on where the Dutch make their purchases, according to a Cognizant survey of 1,000 consumers in the country. Around 35 percent say they do not choose the cheapest retailer if shipping costs are too high, according to the company."

#contactcenterworld, @cognizant

Posted by Laura Collins, Editorial Management
Source: http://news.cognizant.com

Today's Tip of the Day - Cancel Training At Your Peril

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, January 11, 2016

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