Consumers are seeking more in-store technology capabilities and deeper, more personalized integration between their brick-and-mortar shopping experience and their mobile devices and applications, according to a new survey from International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
Survey respondents had a number of capabilities on their wish lists that they would like retailers to provide them with in the next few years. For example, 62% said they would like to have access to products/sizes available in-store without having to talk to a salesperson; 55% said they want to virtually view how home furnishings and how accessories fit in a home before they make a purchase; and 54% want to be able to create a shopping list on a store app, and receive floor maps to help them locate products while in stores.
On the personalization front, about 43% of consumers are receptive to the idea of retailers personalizing prices based on their shopping patterns and demographics, and 39% would visit a mall or shopping center more often if they received alerts from stores that are selling products they are interested in purchasing. Meanwhile, 44% of respondents want to receive access to apps or screens that make it easy to get information such as ingredients in products for reasons of allergies and dietary needs.
The ISCS asked respondents about some of the technology capabilities they would like to see retailers enable for them by 2020, but it's also noted how they are embracing some existing capabilities. For example, about 80% of those who have mall/shopping center apps choose to receive notifications about sales/promotions and/or special events while shopping. That's a very encouraging figure for retailers to feed on as they continue to cultivate their omnichannel strategies, and look for the best ways to bridge the in-store and mobile shopping experiences.
Other survey results suggest consumers are engaging with their retail mobile apps frequently to tap a variety of functions. About 71% of consumers have one or more retailer apps on their phones and 74% of them access these apps at least once a week. Looking at usage across age groups, about 86% of millennials access a retailer app weekly, a finding that tells retailers exactly where they need to focus their energies if they want to reach millennials. Meanwhile, 74% of members of Generation X access retailer apps weekly, and about 61% of the baby boomer generation do the same.
Regarding current offerings that rely on some integration between in-store and mobile capabilities, many of those surveyed appeared to be interested in click-and-collect services allowing them to buy online from a mobile device, and pick up their order in-person at the store. About 73% of respondents say they already have bought a product this way. Among millennials, that percentage runs up to 87%, and among Generation X it's 79%.
Some survey results suggest there is room for growth and improvement in the usage of some mobile capabilities. For instance, about 35% of respondents have used a mobile pay option, and that is most certainly a figure that retailers and others investing in mobile payment offerings want to see grow quickly.