Retailers and Smart(er) Consumers

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Are you meeting the expectations of your web-savvy consumers? Unlikely - at least according to a new survey from Demandware which indicates that retailers are simply not prepared when they encounter the smarter consumer of today’s Internet.

The Demandware study suggests that all retailers must embrace new technologies and significantly change the way they approach multichannel commerce if they plan to meet or exceed consumers’ heightened expectations.

“This research should put brands on notice that the traditional, channel-centric, transaction-based approach to commerce is no longer enough. Smart Consumers are demanding unified, highly branded experiences across all touch points,” said Jamus Driscoll, vice president of marketing, Demandware. “Brands that don’t marry consumers’ growing expectations with their own operational realities will struggle to compete and thrive in the evolving commerce market.”

Findings from the study include:

- Only 12 percent of retailers allow consumers to download a retail or brand shopping application (23 percent of consumers are currently doing this and 50 percent plan to do it in the future)

- 54 percent of consumers would like the ability to click on barcodes or smart tags in magazines or catalogs that link to websites, but only 12 percent of the retailers surveyed currently offer this feature

- While 62 percent of consumers say they intend to purchase products or services on mobile websites or apps, only 32 percent of retailers currently enable this

- Only 29 percent of retailers allow consumers to use their mobile phones to check in-store product availability, yet 38 percent of shoppers do this now and 52 percent expect to do it in the future

- 23 percent of retailers allow consumers to add items to their carts via mobile phones and complete the transaction later on computer or tablet, but 51 percent of consumers would like to be able to do this

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