Customers are on the move and developing more beneficial shopping patterns by harnessing connected technologies to simplify and optimize the path to purchase, according to a survey of 2,500 consumers, conducted by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions.
The smartphone is the most prevalent Internet device, with 71 percent of shoppers using one daily, followed by notebooks (66 percent), desktop computers (50 percent), and tablets (43 percent).
Additionally, TV watching and Internet shopping are closely linked, with more than half (58 percent) of consumers shopping at home while watching TV, and 47 percent of consumers learning about products, special sales and shopping news on TV.
The survey also revealed that shopping at work is significant, with 37 percent of consumers admitting to shopping while at work–overall, 4:00–9:00 p.m. is the peak time for online shopping.
“Most retailers are not delivering an optimal mobile experience derived from shopper intelligence that helps shoppers get to the items they are looking for more quickly, Rodney Mason, group vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, told eWEEK.“Most phones are not always in a WiFi footprint and wireless carrier speeds are significantly slower than WiFi.”
Mason noted another sticking point is that while point of sale (POS) systems are upgrading, retailers are playing catch up and are missing significant opportunities for a streamlined shopper experience.
Forty-two percent of consumers have used special promotions they found on social media and 89 percent of shoppers that follow brands want special offers from those brands, according to the report.
The findings also indicate future trends, with 54 percent of all shoppers likely to use a mobile wallet over a traditional wallet if it is accepted everywhere.
Twenty percent of respondents said they would stop carrying a traditional wallet altogether if mobile payments were accepted everywhere and mobile ID was accepted in place of traditional ID.
When it comes to taking advantage of promotional offers, the digital delivery method most used is email (73 percent), followed by social media (42 percent), text (37 percent) and shopping apps (36 percent).
However, the report suggested that connecting seamlessly across in-store and online is still imperfect.
More than a third (37 percent) of shoppers said they have experienced in-store redemption problems with text promotions and 35 percent have experienced problems with email promotions.
Mason said in the future, shopper data and proximity intelligence would help shoppers more quickly find what they are looking for at the prices they want to pay online and in-store, and would also streamline the in-store and online experiences and simplify how consumers shop and pay.
“For example, a shopper has gift cards loaded in their phone,” he said. “Their mobile wallet will tell them not only how they can get the most value for items they are interested in at stores they already have gift cards for, it will also tell them which ones they might exchange based on their shopping patterns to maximize their buying power at any given moment in time.”