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Access all areas: Customers demand transparency from brands

3rd Jun 2014
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The modern consumer’s customer service wishlist continues to grow as UK retailers struggle to keep up.

Oracle’s new research project, The New Retail Democracy, has shown that power-hungry British consumers are dissatisfied with the lack of access they have to information, products, processes and personalised interactions when shopping.

Stock availability shone through in the findings as a glaring issue. As many as 93% of UK participants want to understand availability better, with 90% admitting that they will shop elsewhere to avoid having to wait for a product to come back into stock. This, Oracle notes, puts pressure on retailers to be more transparent across customer touchpoints in processes relating to demand forecasting and supply chains.

Get this right though, and the rewards will follow; Oracle found a strong link between product availability, spend and loyalty. A considerable 40% of consumers stated that they would be more loyal to a brand that provides them with access to availability information, while 38% say they would be likely to spend more with them.

“Consumers in the UK are amongst the most informed shoppers in the world today, so their expectations of the information, service and experience revealed in this research identifies what retailers must do to bring real value to consumers and encourage their loyalty”, comments Sarah Taylor, senior director at Oracle Retail, EMEA. “The New Retail Democracy demonstrates that retailers must invest in the right technology strategies to ensure that they are meeting consumer expectations.”

Indeed, technology plays an important part in the access-all-areas pass which customers are after. Using a number of different shopping methods including click and collect, in-store and mobile technology, 72% think that it’s important for retailers to be leveraging new technologies so they can view information, browse, and make their purchases however they wish.

Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Retail comments: “As British consumers continue to demand better control of how, when and where they make purchases, Oracle believes that providing commerce anywhere is imperative for retail success. The New Retail Democracy outlined by our research, means that retailers in the UK and across the world need to invest in a truly aligned and integrated retail operation which places the needs of individual consumers at the forefront of its strategy.”

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