UK results from The Evolution of Experience Retailing research were unveiled today during a breakfast roundtable event in London. Sarah Taylor, Senior Director EMEA & JAPAC of Oracle Retail, took delegates through UK findings, looking at comparisons with results from other countries and what the findings means for UK retailers in the current global marketplace.
The Evolution of Experience Retailing research asked consumers in the UK, USA, Germany, Russia, Brazil, China and Japan on their views to fundamental retail principles, looking at issues such as customer service, overall experience, preference, shopping trends and attitudes to technology. The global results of this research were recently announced at the Oracle Retail Exchange event held in January in New York.
British consumers have unprecedented options in a highly competitive domestic retail economy, in addition to the global environment. With access to vast amounts of product information from multiple sources, consumers can compare retailers, brands and products in seconds. As such, they expect high value, targeted assortments, competitive offers and uninterrupted availability from a retail brand, whenever and wherever they choose to shop. This was reflected in the aspects of the research that looked at experience, with 66% of British consumers listing ease of use as the best definition of the term “shopping experience”, followed by the ability to shop anytime, anywhere (59%).
In the current economic environment, it was unsurprising that price remains a priority when shopping, however 90% of respondents also stated that good service was important, or very important. Store associates were identified as the primary cause of bad service, followed by poor fulfillment, but British consumers did not react as strongly as other nations to a bad experience, and were less likely to switch to an alternative retailer, or to actively recommend others from using one.
Some of the research findings were:
- British consumers want what the global marketplace has to offer with 76% stating that the internet offers no barriers to where they can shop
- 76% list price as the priority when shopping, followed by choice and convenient store locations
- Although British consumers are relatively open to sharing information with retailers, in comparison to other mature economies, there is an expectation for lower prices and exclusive offers that are 'good for me' in return for engaging in a more collaborative relationship with a retailer
- While respondents prefer not to shop on their mobile device, interpretations of personalisation relate most strongly to receiving offers and discounts to their mobiles (21%), followed interestingly by a willingness to be identified when shopping online (13%)
To fulfill on British consumer expectations, retailers must optimise their operations to fulfill on the complex supply chain flows to ensure that home delivery and customer pick up is available if the customer requires. The logistics behind the process matter little to the consumer, they just need to be right to support customer priorities.
UK results from The Evolution of Experience Retailing can be downloaded from the research website, where you can also access the global results. Available resources include a whitepaper and byline articles, as well as a research infographic and fact sheets on country and global results.