A new IBM global survey of more than 32,000 consumers has found that technology is giving shoppers a new source of power — pushing retailers to engage them more directly via increased use of personalised promotions and offerings.
The study found that, while shoppers are showing increased demand for multiple technology channels, they want to use different technologies for different activities:
- 79% want to use websites to access and print coupons
- 75% want to use mobile phones to find out where the nearest store is located
- 66% want to see what goods are in stock before going into the store
- 79% also say they want to work with retailers to co-design new products and services that better meet their personal needs
From the consumers' point of view, the survey found, the top areas of improvement for retailers were around delivering customised promotions and ensuring product availability. Overall, 61% of respondents said they would spend more with a retailer if they got these two areas right.
IBM's analysis shows that consumers are increasingly ready to use technologies to interact both with retailers and with other consumers — and this trend is even more pronounced in growth markets. Consumers in India, China and Brazil are almost twice as willing to use multiple technologies for shopping and making purchases. This is primarily because the uptake of new technologies is often faster in emerging countries, says IBM.
"We are in a shopper's market today, because consumer access to technology and information gives them all the power," says IBM's Jill Puleri. "Retailers cannot afford to sit still as this digital revolution happens. They must engage plugged-in consumers in new and different ways, on their terms, and with more bi-directional feedback and dialogue."