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Oracle Retail Blog helps retailers stay current on customer successes, hot retail trends and industry best practices.

Retail in 4 Dimensions: Understanding Consumer Behavior in an Age of Relativity

Rose Spicer
Global Senior Director

In our latest global research, Retail in 4 Dimensions: Understanding Consumer Behavior in an Age of Relativity, we uncovered some interesting insights around consumer personas (or shopper types) and opportunities for leveraging technology to innovate the retail experience so that you can better attract and retain the modern, mobile customer.

The study, which was independently conducted by research firm Morar HPI, audited 15,607 consumers across four key regions: EMEA (France, Germany, Italy, India, Spain, Sweden, UK) NA (Canada, USA), LAD (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico), and APAC (Australia, China) on their retail preferences and attitudes.

We launched this research at Oracle Industry Forum last week in Barcelona to nearly 100 retailers and over 50 brands. Ray Carlin, SVP and GM of Oracle Retail advised, “In order to leverage these behavior trends and successfully reach these consumers, brands need to innovate on three fronts. They need to truly know their consumer to personalize their experience and embrace Omnichannel excellence as an enterprise discipline while create capacity for innovation.”

Three Shopper Profiles Emerge

As digital innovation continues its radical rearrangement of the retail landscape, three consumer behavior macro trends emerge and coalesce into three distinct personas:

  • The Nomad: a fully omnichannel consumer taking advantage of a mix of digital and physical engagement points;
  • The Player: a savvy shopper looking for new, innovative and technology-driven retail experiences; and
  • The Dealer: a price conscious hunter always searching for the greatest value for money.

The Nomad is a nimble shopper who is not loyal to a brand nor a channel and will examine multiple options for researching and locating products before making a purchase.

In the research:

  • 42 percent of consumers are now shopping both online and in-store every week
  • 73 percent want to return online purchases to a retail store
  • 55 percent want to check product stock on their mobile while in-store

The Player uses technology to fuel and guide their shopping experience and look for brands that re-invent the customer journey.

In the research:

  • 44 percent of families noted that virtual sales assistants are important
  • 35 percent like the idea of near real-time delivery via drone or driverless car
  • 43 percent love the idea of being able to 3D print custom fashion

For The Dealer the thrill of the win and discount drives their shopping behavior.

In the research:

  • 84 percent say that competitive pricing and promotions first and foremost are the most important aspect of their shopping experience
  • 65 percent say personalized offers and promotions are most important to them in their shopping experience
  • 50 percent want real-time offers online depending on what they’re browsing at that moment

Opportunities for Retail Innovation Identified in Six Key Trends

In the Retail in 4 Dimensions: Understanding Consumer Behavior in an Age of Relativity report consumers have clearly identified technology’s role in establishing new global standards for the retail community. These include a common expectation for returns and delivery, a desire for mobile payments self-service and opportunities for personalization.

 “As consumers reinforce these trends through purchase behavior, cloud infrastructure will play a more critical role by delivering innovation faster and enabling the retail community to keep pace with existing expectations and experiences,” said Jeff Warren, vice president strategy, Oracle Retail. “What continues to be true is the rising expectations and anticipated evolution of a fully omnichannel shopping experience. Retailers can’t afford to delay adopting cloud solutions that enable a single perspective of consumer behavior across offline and online storefronts.”

Navigating Personalization and Privacy

  • 67 percent of consumers stated that they did not wanting to set up an account for e-commerce checkout and at the same time 57 percent want instant one-click checkout that can only be enabled through creation of a payment profile
  • 29 percent would find offers based on ‘social media’ data ‘creepy’
  • 52 percent want personalized offers in-store based on personal data from their store loyalty account

Fashion Driving Store Traffic and Personalization

  • 83 percent of consumers indicated that they shop in-store at least once a week, and for fashion 7 percent of respondents shop in-store every day and 22 percent shop in-store several times a week
  • 50 percent of millennials and pre-millennials think 3D custom printing would be very engaging
  • 40 percent of consumers browse or buy fashion online at least once a week

Faster, Smarter Payments

  • 56 percent say self-checkout machines are important to them
  • A majority of millennials noted the ability to research and reserve items for in-store pickup on the same day (65 percent) and next day (58 percent) as important
  • 60 percent want mobile payment options in-store with millennials (67 percent) and pre-millennials recording a stronger preference in particular

Simplifying the Returns Process

  • 82 percent want the ability to return an online purchase with free shipping
  • 34 percent of consumers want returns windows exceeding 30 days
  • 70 percent of consumers want free 2-day shipping on all purchases

Auto Replenishment and Grocery Recommendations

  • 48 percent think online automatic replenishment would be important to their experience in the future
  • 33 percent think it would be ‘creepy’ for supermarkets to ship grocery items based on purchase, social and environmental data
  • 40 percent think it would be ‘awesome’ if supermarkets use technology to ‘suggest’ a shopping list without automatically charging for it

Opportunities for Emerging Technology

  • 48 percent of consumers want to use virtual reality at home to navigate a personalized in-store experience and receive home delivery and 48 percent would use virtual reality to prepare a curated wardrobe to be picked up in-store
  • 39 percent think robot assistance would be ‘creepy’ and the sentiment is shared across age groups
  • Millennials (42 percent) and families (43 percent) showed the greatest interest in delivery by driverless car or drone

Access a free copy of the full global research.

Join us for a live webcast in November for an in-depth review of the results and actionable recommendations on how to tune your technology strategy to attract and retain today's consumer. Can't make the live event? Sign up to receive the recording.

 

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