Demandware today released the results of a survey that found smartphone owners at the forefront of new shopping experiences and increasingly dictating the way retailers must engage with them across all touch points.
The survey, conducted in early 2011, focused on consumers across North America, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany who are innately drawn to the Web, accessing it several times per day for information, from multiple touch points and locations. In comparison to traditional consumers, these consumers have heightened expectations of retailers and the overall brand experience. When presented with a positive online shopping experience, they are more likely to reward retailers with brand loyalty, with 67 percent indicating their willingness to share a positive experience among their network. Conversely, they can be very unforgiving, with 72 percent compelled to share a negative online experience with friends and family, and 70 percent turning to a competitor as a result.
The research shows that a bad experience in one channel doesn’t just impact a consumer’s perception of that channel. Consumers associate a negative experience across the entire brand. Fifty-two percent of “smart consumers” who have a bad experience online are less likely to shop from that brand again in an offline channel, while only 38 percent of traditional consumers shared the same attitude.
Although they increasingly shop across channels, they trust the Web above all other channels as a means to access product information. Eighty-three percent identified their Web-enabled smartphone as their most valuable and useful in-store technology. Sixty-nine percent trust Web data, including product information and reviews, more than information attained from a sales associate in the store, while only 16 percent believe store associates are the best resource for product information. But 43 percent of consumers will trust a sales associate more if the associate is aided by a Web-connected device.
"The smart consumer represents the new consumer. We believe our research provides valuable insight into the future of commerce. Empowered by greater access to the Web, the new consumer is becoming increasingly agile and sophisticated, and will continue to raise the bar for the way commerce is conducted. Retailers must prepare their businesses now to adapt to this new era of commerce," said Jamus Driscoll, vice president of marketing at Demandware.