If the stationary retailer wants to make an offer to his customers which they really want to have or even expect, he must first know how the attitude of the customer is opposed to him. In a second step, it is necessary to find out what expectations a (potential) customer has when entering the store and what experiences he has made so far, which are part of these expectations.
The consultants of Capgemini have conducted a study in which 6,000 consumers and 500 retail trade managers were interviewed in nine countries (US, China, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden).
While 81 percent of managers consider the store to be important, less than half of consumers (45%) do so.
The shoppers are disappointed with their shopping experiences, which do not keep up with the developments in online shopping. Also, local shopping is perceived as isolated and “disconnected” from online shopping.
This dissatisfaction is highest in Sweden (54%) and Spain (49%), where local shopping is perceived as an annoying duty. China (29%) and the USA (31%) show the lowest values.
Germany accounts for the exact average of 40 percent of consumers, who feel that local shopping is an annoying duty. 32 percent of the Germans would rather wash off or do laundry than go shopping. This is also the average value for all countries.
The frustration of the shoppers is primarily determined by the fact that they cannot use favourite functions at the POS which they use whilst online shopping or do annoying disabilities occur.
- 71 percent find it difficult to compare products
- 66 percent are annoyed by long queues at checkout
- 65 percent do not find the products they are looking for
- 65 per cent feel promotions as not personally relevant
- 64 percent complain about lack of advice and support from the staff
Shoppers looking for alternatives
The frustration, the disappointment and the perceived dissonance between expectations and their fulfilment make the consumers look for alternatives.
More than half of the respondents (57%) can imagine buying directly from the manufacturer in the future. Even more (59%) would buy on Google, Apple or Facebook when these companies entered into cooperations with local merchants to ensure delivery.
A total of 71 percent would leave their local dealers on the left. It must be borne in mind that this readiness is very different in the countries under study. Thus, the Chinese are 87 percent less loyal to their local traders. The Germans are back in the middle with 67 percent. According to this study, the most loyal consumers are found in the UK (57%), but there are still over half of them which would turn away.
More than half of the managers interviewed (54%) said the digitisation of the point of sale was slow.
As reasons, 43 percent of the managers call the missing measured values (KPIs) to estimate the ROI (Return on Investment) of the in-store digitisation measures. The measurement of the intensity of use alone is not sufficient.
Another reproach is directed to store managers and branch managers, with too little initiative for digitisation (40%).
Equally many called the current state of the preparatory actions as a brake, in order to be able to offer digital services at the POS, as for example. In-store WLAN or the data acquisition at the POS.
Retail must reinvent itself
It is not the end for stationary trade. Many studies show that consumers appreciate the local retail trade and this study also shows that 70% would like to try the products before buying.
Also, consumers are smart enough to know that they do not get exactly the same features and services offline as online. Nevertheless, they do not want to miss out on features at the POS, like more experience and customer loyalty and service.
Online Services: 75 percent want to check availability for the desired products before visiting the store. The delivery of goods bought at the store on the same day would be wished by 73 per cent.
Added value and experience: Customers want experiences and not just the supply and delivery of goods. Spaces for social interaction, learning and experimenting, inspiration, e.g. Cooking classes or DIY workshops.
Recognition and public relations: Seven out of ten respondents (68%) wish that their stay and recurring visits to the shop will be recognised as part of customer loyalty programs. 61 per cent would like lower prices to be offered as regular customers.
It is no longer the case that the customer has to come to the store anyway to get his goods. Today, the stationary trade has to give people a reason to rise from the sofa, the PC, to put on the jacket, to go out, to go to the city and to run from one business to another – maybe even in bad weather.
This means that the trade must have a different self-understanding of its role in the (free) time shaping of the people. The competition is not only Amazon or the online shop with a comparable assortment. The competition is also the gym, the circle of friends, the TV program or the club, with which the “experience shopping” competes.
The study “Making the Digital Connection: Why Physical Retail Stores Need a Reboot” from Capgemini can be downloaded free of charge.