20. January 2020 | Guest Contribution, Retail Technology

The e-commerce  boom has significantly changed how people shop. As a result, retailers need to rethink the portfolio of their stores. In a recent study, researcher asked shoppers what they want for a pleasant shopping experience.

For the first time in the history of the world, we have six generations of shoppers simultaneously: The silent generation, the baby boomers, Generation X, the millennials, Generation Z, and Generation Alpha, with the latter two being true digital natives. In a recent retail study, specialists from Ipsos and GfK, in cooperation with Axis Communications, surveyed 2,500 consumers in fashion hotspots in the US, Europe and Asia to understand more about their ideal shopping experience, both online and offline, and help retailers design the stores of the future.

With just 10 percent of people only shopping online, 14 percent only in physical store, but 77 percent in both environments, the study shows that the consumer does not want either-or, but for  retailers to have both physical and online stores that seamlessly complement each other, across all online and offline touchpoints. Furthermore, the study found that consistency of prices and convenience is a basic requirement for consumers.

Technology, of course, plays a decisive role in solving almost every buyer’s problem. For example, 90 percent of consumers said reducing queues was a desirable improvement. This can be solved with the installation of intelligent camera technologies to optimize check-out lines by opening new registers when it is busy or shortening queues. Moreover, 80 percent of shoppers stated that having shop assistants at disposal, whenever they needed help was an important factor for an ideal shopping experience.

Especially in Shanghai, shopping is considered an important activity to socialize with friends. Only 16 percent of Shanghai’s consumers stated that they prefer to shop alone, as opposed to 42 percent in New York City. This is in line with a trend that can be noted especially in shopping centers throughout Asia: “Retailtainment”, which aims to turn shopping centers into adventure environments. As a social meeting place, it unites all generations for dinner, a night-out, cultural events or sports.

Furthermore, the customer needs a reason to choose between going to a store over shopping online. In fact, the main purpose for visiting stationery shops is to touch and try out the products displayed. In other words, shoppers want to have the option to experience the best of both the online and offline worlds. Hence, customer satisfaction at both offerings should be a top priority to truly reap the benefits of New Retail.

Author: Ralph Siegfried, Business Development Manager,  Axis Communications

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