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Brazil’s retailers lag far behind shopper expectations

Brazil’s consumers expect a futuristic, digitally enhanced retail shopping experience, but many retailers underperform.

Brazil’s consumers increasingly expect a futuristic, digitally enhanced retail shopping experience, but many of the country’s retailers appear to be stuck firmly in the past, according to Accenture’s latest global research.i This gap between consumer demand and retailer ability to deliver is unusually wide. Thus, while Brazilian consumers repeatedly exceed the global survey mean in expecting the latest shopping innovations, local retailers consistently underperform peers in other regions when it comes to delivering these enhancements. Perhaps more than other markets, Brazil’s consumers are shouting, but so far, it appears the country’s retailers aren’t listening.

Consumers want more; retailers offer less

For example, compared to the global average, many more consumers in Brazil say they are using their smartphones more often this year than last to find goods and services. At the same time, far fewer of Brazil’s retailers offer smartphone apps that enable purchasing compared to the global sample. A similar mismatch occurs regarding how many shoppers expect to purchase more via their smartphones this year—Brazilians come in well above the global average, as do the number who find it easy to purchase goods using their mobile devices. However, the country’s retailers are much less likely to have mobile-optimized websites with purchasing capabilities compared to the global average.

Similar results emerge regarding the use of smartphones while shopping in stores. Well over half of the Brazilian respondents “can’t wait” to receive real time promotions in stores—a double-digit increase from last year—but none of the country’s retailers offer this capability. And roughly the same proportion of the country’s consumers wants to be able to credit coupons and discounts automatically at checkout, but no retailers provide the service. Likewise, a sizeable number of shoppers say they are becoming more interested in paying for goods via their mobile phones—again far more than the global average—but none of the assessed retailers offer pay-by-phone options.

When asked how retailers could improve the connected shopping experienced the most, a majority of consumers mention the ability to check product availability online prior to going to the store—up significantly from fewer than 20 percent a year earlier. Again, none of the studied retailers in Brazil provides store-specific stock availability information.

Many Brazilians also seek shopping and fulfillment innovation that go beyond connectivity. For instance, nearly two-thirds of the country’s consumers say they would be either somewhat or very likely to use a service that performs shopping duties for individual consumers at one or multiple retailers and delivers goods for a fee—the global average is significantly lower.

Reflecting global findings, consumers in Brazil indicate that two brands, Google and Facebook, have had the greatest impact on their shopping related lifestyles. Other brands, including Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Uber, registered less of an impact. As with other findings, significantly greater numbers of Brazilian consumers said Google and Facebook had the biggest impact on them than appears in the global results.