New research has revealed that 90% of consumers regularly research products online prior to buying them.
Additionally, Hitachi Consulting’s survey of 1,000 UK consumers found 60% of those who own a smartphone use them for researching products whilst they are in-store.
Even if a product is ranged to store at a price the consumers are willing to pay, 86% of customers are willing to walk out, if either the product is not in stock and needs to be ordered in, or if the customer service is poor, said the report.
Having relevant items in stock was seen as the most important way to improve shoppers’ experiences, followed by having competitor price comparisons available in store, improvements to the in store environment, and sales assistants having more information available at their fingertips.
Chris Gates, director of retail at Hitachi Consulting UK, said: “Retailers need to do more than ever to influence the choices that their customers are making. Traditional retail models are exploding at the moment, and causing a tidal wave of organisational complexity and insight challenges. Some technology vendors put a lot of emphasis on the innovations that they consider to be the 'next big thing', and yet don’t always provide any real clarity with regard to ROI.
“At the same time, the weak economy is forcing retailers to focus on cost control above all else, and to look to short term payback rather than the infrastructural changes that are often needed. The existing information that retailers already hold in their business is a rich source of insight to help them better understand their customers, which can deliver short term ROI, and can inform customer centric decisions across the organisation.”