January 16, 2017, 12:10 PM

Online shopping changes consumers’ in-store expectations

Shoppers aren’t happy with the in-store shopping experience, and retailers are struggling to adapt, a Capgemini report finds.

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Nearly a third of all U.S.-based shoppers (31%) view shopping in stores as a chore, while 17% say they’d rather wash dishes or clothes than venture into a store, according to consulting firm Capgemini, which surveyed 500 retail executives and 6,000 shoppers around the world in November for its report titled “Making the Digital Connection: Why Physical Retail Stores Need a Reboot.”

Part of that dissatisfaction with in-store shopping stems from how online shopping and the choices offered via e-commerce have raised consumers’ expectations.

“Consumers are bringing their online expectations—personalized and hassle-free shopping—into the store,” Capgemini writes. “However, our research shows that stores are struggling to meet these heightened expectations.”

The inability to easily compare products is a major pain point shoppers face in stores, with 71% saying they find it difficult to do so when in a store.

So what do retailers with physical stores have to do in order to win shoppers accustomed to having a seemingly endless array of options available at their fingertips via desktop or mobile devices?

Retailers could improve their store inventory visibility online?, given that 75% of shoppers say they want to be able to see what a store has in stock before heading to the location, Capgemini’s data shows.

Consumer satisfaction for retailers is “worryingly low,” according to Capgemini, as nearly one in two retailers in the Capgemini Future of Retail Store Survey received a negative score from consumers. “While many retailers are taking steps to remedy this through combining the virtues of physical stores with new technologies, over half of retail executives in our survey feel that the digitization of their stores is moving too slowly as they struggle with a range of challenges, from adequate training for store associates to difficulties in measuring the ROI of digital investments,” Capgemini writes.

54% of the retail executives surveyed say they don’t feel as though their stores are doing enough adapt to the digital age.

“Introducing technology into the overall consumer experience for physical stores will be key to addressing these falling satisfaction levels,” Capgemini writes. “Among consumers who visited stores offering digital technologies, 59% found them useful and 50% use them frequently.”

But U.S.-based retailers aren’t judged as harshly as merchants in other parts of the world. Western European consumers have a more negative view of in-store shopping than U.S. consumers:

  • Sweden: 54% view in-store shopping as a chore, while 47% would rather wash dishes or clothes.
  • Spain: 49%, 37%
  • Netherlands: 47%, 35%
  • Italy: 42%, 39%
  • U.K.: 37%, 22%
  • France: 40%, 41%
  • Germany: 40%, 32%
  • U.S.: 31%, 17%
  • China: 29%, 22%
  • Average among the nine countries: 40%, 32%
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