VMSD - June 2012 - (Page 18)
NEX T STORE
By Jim Crawford
Digital Wants and Needs
What do shoppers really want in a store experience?
MANY OF MY PAST COLUMNS have focused on
exploring what’s possible for retailers to deliver to shoppers using cutting-edge technology. But one consistent question retailers ask me is, “What do shoppers think of new technologies in the store?” The short answer is that shoppers expect far more than retailers are currently delivering. To gain insight into what shoppers actually want from instore technology, Cisco Systems recently surveyed 1000 shoppers in the U.S. and U.K. Some of the responses clearly illustrate the gap between what shoppers want and what retailers are delivering. To get a deeper insight into the data, I spoke with Jon Stine, Cisco’s director of Internet business solutions and one of the true gurus of retail technology.
Q: What is shoppers’ overall attitude toward the level of “tech-enabled” shopping they see? A: Shoppers are increasingly frustrated that the content that’s available to them online, such as transparent pricing and peer reviews, is almost totally unavailable in the store. The shopper moves from the 21st century online into the era of Ozzie and Harriet when she enters a store. The digital experience that is so central and essential to her daily life isn’t present, unless she brings it in herself.
18 JUNE 2012 | vmsd.com
Q: How are shoppers responding to retailers’ multichannel efforts? A: From the shopper’s perspective, channels are completely irrelevant. The product and shopping
KA REN BOY HE N, CI NCI N NAT I
Q: Aren’t most older shoppers (and traditionally the ones with the most money) resistant to technology in stores? A: There is resistance to complexity, and technology is equated with complexity. Current smartphones and tablets are complex (despite Apple’s efforts). Older shoppers are interested in the solutions that technology can enable, but only when the complexity is removed. Our research indicates substantial interest in immersive video, even using gesture-based interfaces, in older women. It’s also important to really understand what makes technology easy or difficult to use. For example, older shoppers often prefer larger, fixed screens to using mobile phones for a variety of reasons – they don’t have to get something out of their pocket or purse; the bigger screens aren’t as hard to read. Across the board, what shoppers want is not technology, but information relevant to the shopping process, delivered simply. Technology is the delivery path, and if it’s complex, the experience will fail.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - June 2012
VMSD - June 2012
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
Zara goes Global in Manhattan
The Walking Mannequin Man
VMSD - June 2012