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Consumers are demanding a retail experience that is global, yet localised for their needs and expectations, and is ‘good for me’, defined and dictated by individual preferences, discloses new research from Oracle.

Findings from the ‘Evolution of Experience Retailing’ survey reveal that as consumers around the world demand accessibility to the global marketplace, their requirements dictate how retailers should prioritize strategies and key business imperatives to meet customer demand and compete more effectively.

Oracle commissioned the survey in August 2012 to examine the evolving marketplace and what this means in terms of meeting the retail requirements of consumers between 18 and 60 years of age in Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and USA, looking at fundamental retail principles including service, experience and consumer preferences, in addition to shopping trends and attitudes to technology.

Research Highlights include:

 

  • Findings reveal that today’s educated, information-driven consumers want retailers to co-create interactions that are ‘good for me’, which is defined as an experience that meets expectations locally and culturally and is appropriate in terms of the level, frequency and intimacy of the interaction between the retailer and the consumer.

  • Price, product and choice matter in driving consumers to take advantage of the global marketplace, led predominantly by Amazon which is successfully harnessing the power of customer data to deliver insight that meets the complete experience requirements of customers.

  • Service is increasingly important, with 88 percent of respondents listing this as very or fairly important, but retailers are under pressure to empower their store associates and operations to deliver accurate and connected, information-driven interactions at every touch point.

  • Perceptions of experience differ in-store and online, highlighting that while there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to complete commerce, retailers should focus on enabling commerce anytime, anywhere (56% of respondents) and the provision of easily navigable channels online (61%); while in store consumers want product showcases (62%) and a vibrant, engaging environment (56%).

  • Consumers have little patience with poor service and experience, with over half of respondents (53%) indicating they would switch to a competitor or actively recommend against using a particular retailer (55%), and a growing number of virally savvy consumers (37%) will share their dissatisfaction via social media networks.

  • Personalization is less highly valued in comparison to service and experience, meaning retailers are failing to understand how customers want to engage with them, but is defined in the context of targeted offers and information, based on their preferences, delivered to mobile devices (39%) and having access to a single shopping basket across channels (36%).

  • Mobile and social may not be preferential commerce channels just yet, but these are growing in importance, as detailed in relation to personalization and the use of social media networks for sentiment management, particularly within emerging retail markets.

  • The study demonstrates that consumers are demanding that this ‘good for me’ experience be delivered across multiple touch points, which offers considerable opportunities for retailers to differentiate from Amazon’s online offering by developing strategies to better understand preferences, deliver more targeted personalization techniques and provide commerce anywhere.

 “Oracle recognizes that the pace of change in the global marketplace is unprecedented. The view we have is that customers are now in charge, demanding the provision of commerce anywhere, the benefits of the competitive marketplace and the latest technologies to enhance their shopping experiences. This is the age of the individual that wants every retail interaction to be ‘good for me’, to be defined and dictated by ‘my’ preferences,” said Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail.

 

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