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Half of shoppers routinely ‘showrooming’ on mobile – but it’s not just about price, says study

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Half of UK shoppers routinely ‘showroom’ with their mobile when in store, often buying from a competitor. But their purchase decision isn’t just about price, it is also about reviews, customer service and overall experience.

So finds a wide ranging study by Cognizant, which suggests that location based marketing on mobile isn’t going to be the nirvana that many retailers hope it to be. In fact, 56% told the survey they are unlikely to use offers from retailers based on their current location.

According to the study of 1000 shoppers, shopping does not end with the sale. Service and after-sale support, such as the ease of returns, is a huge contributing factor in the choice of retailer. In fact, 25% say they would choose a good returns policy over price.

UK retailers are continuing to innovate and introduce new online and in-store technologies – such as beacons and location-based services – to improve this customer experience. The study found that shoppers want interactive features that directly influence their purchase. Fifty eight percent say they read product reviews online and 48% use a mobile to select a product colour or size.

The rise of social media has also led to more than half of shoppers (57%) writing reviews of their experiences online. However, most shoppers are not interested in engaging with social media or technology unless it directly affects their purchasing decision.

Steven Skinner, Senior Vice-President of Retail and Consumer Goods Consulting at Cognizant, explains: “Today’s shoppers – who use the online, mobile and in-store options available to them –know the price they are willing to pay, and the level of service they expect to receive in return. They are adept at researching products, comparing prices and exploring delivery options. They know what they want.”

Loyalty programmes also have a big impact on where people shop. Nearly a third (32%) of UK shoppers say they are more likely to purchase products in a shop where they would get loyalty points, even if they know they can buy the products cheaper elsewhere.

Eighty five per cent of UK shoppers are members of at least one loyalty programme and nearly a third (32%) are members of between three and five.

Steven Skinner concludes: “Just as technology has given shoppers more information, it is helping retailers too. Digital technologies — such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) as well as sensors — allow retailers to track and understand customer behaviour in unprecedented detail. This customer knowledge can help retailers identify and invest in the tools and technologies their customers really value. What’s more, digital technology also helps retailers monitor stock availability, communicate availability of in-store, digitally-enabled sales assistants, and help consumers to self-serve and find information on products more easily. Overall, this will help retailers improve customer loyalty and increase sales.”


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