In-store shopping will continue to drive revenue in 2016, but consumers will increasingly gravitate to retailers that deliver personalized service, according to new research from TimeTrade.
The growing disconnect between increasing customer expectations and current service offerings presents an opportunity for retailers who can tailor in-store shopping and provide a “concierge” experience.
To better understand customers’ current mindset, TimeTrade surveyed more than 5,000 consumers about shopping habits and perceptions and 100 senior retail executives about their plans with customer experience. Results showed that while the majority of consumers still favor in-store shopping, service expectations are quickly rising. The surveys also revealed a key disconnect for the coming year between customer perceptions and expectations and retailers’ focus. TimeTrade also surveyed consumers about sub-verticals in retail which include apparel, automoative, cosmetics, home furnishings, home improvement, jewelry, outdoor gear and wireless.
According to the survey, store traffic will be strong in 2016, with 72% of respondents planning to shop in-store as much as last year and 18% expecting to shop in-store even more than last year. However, the emergence of the on-demand economy – in which innovative brands like Uber instantly deliver personalized (and well-priced) goods and services – gives in-store shoppers more leverage and heightens their expectations.
Key findings of the report include:
“Consumers’ increasing demand for concierge-like services is forcing retailers to improve the connection between digital and physical and put a greater focus on enhancing the in-store experience,” said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. “Stores will remain the top shopping channel in 2016, but omnichannel retail will play a key role in driving the changing shopping experience. Retailers must evolve their approach to meet the rising expectations of today’s digitally savvy and increasingly informed consumer.”
The full State of Retail Report 2016 can be accessed here.