ATLANTA: Shoppers in bricks-and-mortar stores are conditioned by their online experiences and now expect to find the same sort of help and direction in-store as they find in the digital retail environment.
For its second Reality of Retail report, InReality, an in-store analytics and customer experience firm, surveyed 682 US shoppers who shared their experiences across ten retail categories, with a special focus on bricks-and-mortar shopping and the impact of digital and self-directed shopping behaviour.
Seven in ten (69%) said they would be more likely to buy in-store if given self-help technologies like kiosks or interactive displays.
And eight in ten (78%) indicated a greater propensity to buy in-store if given self-help options to find a particular product, while this was also the case for three quarters (75%) if they were given self-help options to compare products or get price comparisons.
"Shoppers' new expectations of digital technology in-store is one of many shifts changing the role and function of bricks-and-mortar stores," explained Gary Lee, president and CEO of InReality.
"To remain competitive, brands and retailers in bricks and mortar will have to quickly become just as smart, data-driven and agile as they are online," he added.
Shifting patterns were also apparent in how consumers discover brands and products, as the survey revealed just 18% of shoppers found them through traditional advertising; they are more than twice as likely to discover these while browsing online and 1.5 times more likely to come across them while browsing in-store.
In terms of the consumer experience, shoppers appeared to be rather unforgiving of a bad one with relatively few prepared to offer stores and brands a second chance.
Around one quarter (27%) of surveyed shoppers said they would give a physical store a second chance after a poor experience, but online stores were held to a higher standard as just 16% would extend an olive branch here.
Brands and products were held to the highest standard, as mere 15% would give them a second chance after a poor experience.
Data sourced from InReality; additional content by Warc staff