Shoppers shun shop assistants for smartphones- report

08/05/2014

An increasing number of consumers would rather pull out their smartphone or tablet inside a store than speak to a store assistant, according to a new report.

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The report from Deloitte found that more than half of the people surveyed admitted they prefer using a mobile device to compare prices, gather more information or check availability, while just under half of respondents said they'd rather use complete a mobile payment than head to a cash register.

Even unmanned kiosks (think touch displays or tables full of tablets) outranked small talk with a retail employee.

Digital devices’ influence on in-store purchase behavior is growing much faster than anyone could have anticipated.

Deloitte’s research shows that today digital technologies influence 36 percent or $1.1 trillion of in-store retail sales, and this number will likely increase to 50 percent of in-store sales by the end of 2014.

Given this acceleration, we are at a tipping point in retail — a point where digital channels should no longer be considered a separate or distinct business. Instead, digital is fundamental to the entire business and the entire shopping experience, in and out of the store. As this new reality begins to have a greater impact, retailers should change dramatically the way they think, measure, and invest in digital, and address their customers’ digital needs and wants.

Key findings

• The digital impact on in-store shopping and purchase is greater and growing faster than previous projections indicated.

• From the customer’s point of view, e-Commerce and bricks-and-mortar businesses are no longer discrete. This attitude challenges the most basic organization structure and business model of many retailers.

• Many executives in your company may be working on disparate pieces of the digital guest experience. The dots — from digital to customer experience, to merchandising, to vendor decisions and others — should be connected by an integrated retail strategy.

• Customer expectations in terms of digital’s role in the bricks-and-mortar shopping journey are being (re)defined by retailers outside of your direct competitive set.

• Retailers are often failing to properly measure the impact of digital on various measures of success: traffic, conversion, order size, and loyalty. Viewed holistically, these metrics can be powerful leading indicators of customer preference and purchase intent.

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Source: Deloitte

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