The sixth annual Motorola Solutions Holiday Shopping Study found that technology continues to radically transform the traditional holiday shopping experience, with 61 percent of surveyed retail managers believing that shoppers are better connected to information than in-store associates. That's an increase from nearly 59 percent in 2011 and 51 percent in 2010.
Surveyed shoppers echoed a similar sentiment, with nearly one-half (46 percent) of Gen Y shoppers, four in 10 (38 percent) Gen X shoppers, and one-third (32 percent) of Boomer shoppers feeling better connected to product information than associates.
According to the study, the increasing use of shopping-related technologies is having an impact on the shopper experience across varied age demographics.
Included in the study's findings are the following:
- 64 percent of Gen Y and 52 percent of Gen X shoppers used their personal mobile device for shopping-related activities, compared to only 37 percent of Boomer and less than 15 percent of pre-Boomer shoppers.
- 46 percent of Gen Y and 36 percent of Gen X shoppers agreed that they can more readily locate information on their personal mobile devices rather than asking store associates for assistance. Only 19 percent of Boomer and less than 12 percent of pre-Boomer shoppers agreed.
- 54 percent of Gen Y and 43 percent of Gen X shoppers were likely to access guest Wi-Fi for shopping-related activities. This compares to 34 percent of Boomer shoppers and 20 percent of pre-Boomer shoppers.
- Boomers are four times more likely to increase their spending as the result of a helpful associate than by using self-service technology.
- Almost half of surveyed shoppers (47 percent) agreed that they have a better experience when sales associates use the latest technologies to assist them.
- 48 percent of shoppers reported that helpful store associates motivated them to spend more in-store.
- More than half of surveyed shoppers (55 percent) believed that information kiosks help store associates improve the shopping experience.
- While overall customer satisfaction has risen since 2007, surveyed shoppers reported rising dissatisfaction with the return/exchange process -- 29 percent were not satisfied in-store and 45 percent were not satisfied with online experiences.
- Two-thirds (66 percent) of surveyed retail associates recognize the positive effect of mobile loyalty account access on the shopper experience.
- 82 percent of retail associates agreed that improving in-store communication between staff and managers would have a positive effect on shopper satisfaction.
- 58 percent of retail associates recognized the positive effect of mobile point of sale (mPOS) on the shopping experience.
- 36 percent of shoppers believed that store associates using tablets enhanced their shopping experience, and 59 percent of store associates agreed that they could better serve customers if they were equipped with tablets.
- Nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) retail associates agreed that store management can better manage employees and operational processes when empowered with technology and better information.
- 72 percent of shopping-related walkouts resulted in lost sales, representing an average loss per abandonment of $156.
- Retailers can recover 69 percent of out-of-stock incidents if associates are prepared to offer shoppers the option to order the items before leaving the store and have them sent to their homes.
- 63 percent of store managers agree that they need more real-time information to better ensure customer satisfaction.
"When shoppers have so many options, it is clear that retailers who embrace technology to enable their store associates to directly engage shoppers are creating differentiation through customer service," said Eduardo Conrado, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Motorola Solutions, in a statement. "With nearly one-half of surveyed shoppers stating that they have a better experience when retail associates use the latest technology, retailers' adoption of the right technology that targets shoppers of various age groups will help drive greater customer satisfaction and increased sales opportunities."