U.S. in-store and mobile retail experience found wanting

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Customers say that their expectations of a ‘seamless retail’ experience are not being met, despite improvements in the technology available to retailers. Accenture’s survey of 750 U.S. consumers alongside analysis of U.S. retailers’ operations across multiple sales channels, found that enhancements in mobile offerings and the in-store experience are needed to meet consumer expectations.

While more than a third (39%) of consumers said they would like the opportunity to earn loyalty points and save money by using in-store mobile phone offers, and 45% want to receive real-time promotions via their mobile device, just 28% of retailers currently have such a capability. Furthermore, just 42% of consumers said they found mobile payments easy to complete.

Consumers also felt that the in-store experience could be enhanced by the ability to order out-of-stock items (19%) and free Wi-Fi (15%). More than a third (36%) said they would order out-of-stock items while in-store via mobile if that option were available.

Consistency in pricing across in-store and online was also expected by consumers (82%), yet Accenture found that just one third (34%) listed the same price in-store as online for more than 80% of the items assessed.

“The fact that many consumers use their mobile devices to check inventory availability while on their way to a store and are looking for real-time promotions to be sent to their phones means retailers have an opportunity to capitalize on the power of these devices,” said Dave Richards, global managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice. “By investing in mobile applications and frictionless digital payment tools that incorporate loyalty, coupons and rewards in-store, retailers can provide a seamless bridge between customers’ online and offline experiences. All sales channels must be equally desirable to the consumer, so that the path to purchase is not chosen based on satisfaction in one channel over another, but simply on what is most convenient at that time.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.