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New customer expectations

Part 1

If you think the modern day shopper is a moving target, you’re right. Digital and mobile technologies are giving busy consumers more information and more choices. As technology continues to break down sales barriers (location and cost, for example), merchants are vying for consumers’ attention on multiple fronts. Let’s explore the new shoppers’ expectations listed below.

Expectation #1: Ability to interact with you anytime

Today’s consumers are more connected than ever before and expect you to be, too. Merchants need to engage customers wherever they are– in-store, online, and on their smartphones. Eighty-eight shoppers who engage with retailers via social media channels say those interactions have an impact on their purchasing choices. Overall, consumers want flexibility in their interactions with retailers– 86 percent expect brands to offer multiple options to connect through online chat, email and over the phone.

Expectation #2: A more personalized shopping experience

Nearly one-third of consumers want more personalization in their shopping experiences. Personalization encompasses both online and in-store marketing including website, email, and merchandising onsite. As ecommerce sales continue to grow, your website is as important as your best salesperson. Shoppers don’t have time to sift through all the information available on the web, so the more personalized experience you can offer, the better.

Expectation #3: A consistent experience across channels

Whether your customers come into your store, visit your website, access your mobile app, or receive a mail order catalogue, email or text message, they expect the inventory and offers to be consistent. Seventy-two percent of consumers value consistency in the products available across brick-and-mortar and online stores, and 69 percent value consistency in customer service.

Expectation #4: Self-service and in-store help simultaneously

Many shoppers are happy to help themselves. Fifty-nine percent of consumers discover new products via personal research, and 57 percent of smartphone users visit a retailer’s site or app on their device while shopping in that retailer’s store.4  Still, a majority of shoppers (71 percent) expect sales associates to know product information. The pay-off is big for retailers with knowledgeable salespeople– 92% of shoppers who receive “very helpful” service make a purchase in-store.

Knowing what your customers expect is just one piece of the picture. Our next article in this three-part series will take a look at your current reality facing new shoppers’ expectations and other challenges.

 

1Retail TouchPoints™, http://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/e-commerce/88-of-shoppers-are-webrooming, 6/9/2014

2Infosys®, http://www.infosys.com/newsroom/press-releases/Documents/genome-research-report.pdf, 2014

3Retail TouchPoints™, http://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/special-reports/retailers-seek-innovation-in-personalization, 4/21/2014

4Internet Retailer®, https://www.internetretailer.com/2013/10/01/its-official-mobile-devices-surpass-pcs-online-retail, 10/2013

5Loyalty260™, http://loyalty360.org/resources/article/are-store-associates-equipped-to-deliver-memorable-customer-experiences, 11/20/2014

 

 


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