What do consumers want out of their shopping experiences? More technology, a resounding answer found by International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) new study released this week.

As it turns out, consumers welcome technology that provides access and ease to the shopping experience, a demand found across all ages. They are seeking an integration of technology and shopping, and are looking for in-store experiences that cross-over digitally.

“Consumers are the drivers of demand, and they’ve made it clear they want more technology integrated into their shopping experience,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “Our study shows that consumers are calling for access to more information in stores. The retailers who innovate in this area, making the experience more efficient and the consumer better informed, will win at the register.”

Specifics on what McGee is referring to as “access to more information” played out like this: 62% want to have access to products/sizes available in store without engaging a salesperson and 54% wish to compile a shopping list on a store app and receive a floor map to locate products. Although it should be noted that customers understand that these technologies may take a few years to be implemented.

In the meantime, one area in the integration process that’s already been highly successful is “click-and-collect,” where nearly three out of four consumers (73 percent) have bought a product online from a mobile device and picked it up in a store.

Other current ways consumers use technology to connect while shopping include:

87% of Millennials and 79 percent of Generation X use their mobile device to make a click-and-collect purchase
71% of consumers have one or more retailer apps on their phones and 74 percent of them access these apps at least once a week
86% of Millennials access a retailer app weekly and members of Generation X and the Baby Boomer generation, 74 percent and 61 percent, respectively
37% of consumers have used a digital assistant (i.e., Siri) to build shopping lists or to place orders to later pick up items in stores
35% of consumers have used a mobile pay option

One last finding the study reveals is that personalization remains a key focus for consumers and they seek out retailers who will deliver customized results. Some evidence of this shows that 80% of those who have mall/shopping center apps choose to receive personalized notifications like sales/promotions and/or special events to suit their needs and would be receptive to other forms of personalized communication.
“Technology creates innumerable opportunities for retailers to better reach – and convert – consumers,” continued McGee. “Collecting data on a shopper’s specific buying habits can create a healthier connection. Through closely understanding the wants and needs of shoppers, retailers can drive more store visits and create a stronger bond.”


Source: Accessories Magazine by Christine Galasso