Focus on the phone

Produce Retailer – How does the average shopper experience your brand on her phone? That question should be a guide for your marketing efforts in the coming years. According to a new report by retail consulting firm BRP, 41% of consumers plan to increase how often they shop on their phone or tablet within two years. The report is based on a survey about shopping habits overall — not grocery shopping habits alone — but the findings are still relevant.

After all, the plethora of fast food options has certainly influenced what kind of products shoppers demand in grocery stores, leading to tremendous growth in fresh-cut and prepared foods sections, and the popularity of e-commerce in non-food retail sectors like clothing, books and electronics has prompted the rapid rise of grocery pickup and delivery services. We know shoppers are looking for convenience, and the BRP report indicates that for many people convenience is not just important but a make-or-break factor.

The firm found that 67% will choose a store based on the availability of mobile coupons and 64% will choose a store based on product information availability via a mobile device. BRP found that many retailers are already working to realize the opportunities those preferences present.

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Digital vs. Traditional Consumers: How Generational Gaps Define Shopping Tendencies

eMarketer – Younger, digitally engaged consumers love to use almost any technology that might make their buying process more self-sufficient, whereas traditional consumers are driven more by cost and ease of use.

According to a December 2018 report from BRP, retail consulting firm, “digital consumers” (defined as those ages 18 to 37) look for the availability of self-checkout, mobile payments or same-day delivery when choosing retailers. In comparison, “traditional consumers” (ages 38 and older) care less about technological offerings, with most being driven to retailers by free delivery. (It should be noted that per BRP, the only defining factor of digital vs. traditional consumers was age.)

After they’ve made a purchase, 61% of digital consumers are likely to share an exceptional shopping experience on social media, vs. just 29% of traditional consumers who said the same, according to BRP. This trend holds true for unsatisfactory experiences: Fifty-six percent of digital consumers said they’d post on social about a poor experience, compared with 27% of traditional consumers.

Survey respondents were not asked about sharing experiences via word-of-mouth—something that digital and traditional shoppers likely do. But there is one thing both cohorts agree on: Following an unsatisfactory shopping experience, nearly two-thirds of all digital and traditional consumers would not return to that retailer.

Above all, marketers must recognize core consumers and meet their needs accordingly. But as digital and traditional consumers often shop at the same stores, retailers should be prepared to offer a wide range of simple and value-driven experiences—as well as those that are more technologically cutting-edge.

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The Store Still Matters

Despite what the media and industry analysts want us to believe, the store still matters. 79% of the consumers in our recent Consumer Study indicate they purchase merchandise in a store frequently. So, the store is not likely going away any time soon. In fact, this is likely to rise as 27% of consumers indicate their in-store shopping frequency will increase over the next 24 months.

With the store still a major part of the customer journey, the point of sale or commerce platform plays a critical role in shaping the customer shopping experience.Since the checkout process in stores is often the most frustrating aspect of an in-store shopping experience, it is important for retailers to ensure that this technology is efficient to make the process quick and easy. Most consumers (96%) feel that the ease of checkout and payment is an important factor in choosing where they shop so getting it correct is important.The right technology foundation is essential to support the best in-store customer experience and allow it to continue to evolve.

Instead of a simple checkout device, your commerce platform needs to serve as the link to customer information, shopping history and purchasing behavior across channels, not just in the store. Unfortunately, many retailers are utilizing old, outdated hardware and software that can’t support today’s requirements. This leads to associate and customer frustration because of slow transactions, lack of accessible information and potentially, increased theft and fraud. The challenge for retailers is to identify and implement a new holistic commerce platform across channels that addresses these issues and avoids being obsolete in a year or two.

More than half (53%) of the retailers in our 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey are focused on adding capabilities to their current POS with 41% focused on implementing a unified commerce platform so retailers are heading in the right direction. But we challenge retailers to look at cloud-based solutions to enable real-time capabilities and create a scalable and agile platform that supports your evolving business needs.

A cloud approach enables you to significantly reduce infrastructure, improve security and increase operational effectiveness by centralizing data management and processes. This allows you to be more agile so you can continue to meet your ever-changing customer needs and make sure that your store still matters.

I encourage you to download the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology for more information on what today’s store environment requires.


BRP Report: ‘Digital Consumers’ Want Personalized Recommendations

Convenience Store Decisions – BRP’s 2019 Consumer Shopping Habits – The Generation Gap report identifies how and where consumers prefer to shop and which factors — such as generational differences — influence their shopping. The report is based on findings from a BRP survey of 1,298 U.S.

‘Digital Consumers’ (ages 18-37) have higher expectations for the retail experience than ‘Traditional Consumers’ (ages 38+) and embrace the use of technology to make their research and buying process more convenient. Traditional Consumers are more focused on the basics of finding their desired product at the right price.

“It is interesting to see what drives consumers’ shopping habits and the differences between generational groups,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing, BRP Consulting. “As retailers plan their in-store, online and mobile shopping experience strategies, it is imperative that they align with the desires of their target audiences. Making every experience a positive one is also key, as nearly two-thirds of all consumers will stop shopping at a retail brand after one unsatisfactory experience.”

Read Full Article: BRP Report: ‘Digital Consumers’ Want Personalized Recommendations