Shopper expectations differ by retail segment around the globe

Accenture research shows the seamless customer experience means something different depending on what you’re buying.

Accenture surveyed almost 10,000 people in November 2014 in 13 countries around the globe. Our research findings show many similarities yet many differences in the way people shop by retail segment. Consumers want a seamless experience no matter where they shop; but knowing what the shopper expectations are and how they differ by retailer is important.

Purchasing via mobile device still not as easy as buying online (via a laptop or desktop computer)

While it’s clear many apparel shoppers are using smartphones and tablets more frequently to shop, it should be eye opening to retailers that only 42% say it’s easy to purchase on a mobile device. And you’d think that buying at a consumer electronics retailer would be well developed via mobile device, only 48% find it easy to purchase via mobile device. There is still much improvement needed on the mobile shopping experience.

Fulfillment options, whether purchasing in store or online, are being utilized

People are online more as part of their overall shopping experience – browsing, purchasing, researching – something they used to do in store. But when they make a purchase, many are taking advantage of the various fulfillment options retailers offer. For example, more than twice as many department store shoppers are buying online and picking up in store more in the past 12 months; but they want the in-store experience improved (i.e. ordering out of stock items while shopping in store). 35% of drug store shoppers are buying online and shipping home (up from 22% last year) and 20% (up from 15%) are using ship from store to home more in the past 12 months.

Busy lives means convenient delivery options are in demand

Grocery store shoppers share the importance of delivery speed and the ability to schedule deliveries when shopping for groceries. However, grocery stores are trailing behind other retailers, as consumers state that they don’t find it very easy to shop online or via mobile device. Meanwhile, 41% of home improvement store shoppers are taking advantage of shipping their online purchases home; 28% are shipping their in-store purchases home (compared to 22% who said they did this more last year) and on the flip side, 27% (up from 16%) are ordering online and picking up their orders in store.

Shoppers like the ability to purchase online from retailers that haven’t always offered this in the past

Many discount and mass merchant stores haven’t offered the ability to order products online. And with 41% of global shoppers doing this more often this past year (compared to 29% last year), it’s clear, stores that were typically just bricks-and-mortar are making headway with their online purchasing investments.

For a more detailed view of the results and a comparison between Global, Europe and US shoppers across apparel, consumer electronics, drug, department, grocery, home improvement and mass merchant stores, please visit: www.accenture.com/seamless