US, UK shoppers put personalisation above online security

Ninety-two per cent claimed to be influenced by a brand or company’s social media activity.  ― Reuters picNinety-two per cent claimed to be influenced by a brand or company’s social media activity. ― Reuters picLONDON, Nov 21 ― The trend of showrooming, the use of a mobile device to compare in-store prices with those of products found online, has gone mainstream.

Checking out the merchandise

According to the latest findings by Accenture Interactive, 72 per cent of US and UK consumers aged 20-40 regularly showroom, with 60 per cent using physical stores as a means of examining potential online purchases up close and 52 per cent of the 2000 respondents claiming that in-store prices are higher than their online equivalents.

Interestingly, 48 per cent said that after visiting a store, they will go home and buy the product from the same retailer’s website while only 20 per cent claimed to make the final purchase in-store.

Personalised shopping

The other key finding of the survey was individuality.

Those polled want a more personalised shopping experience and are prepared to allow behavior tracking in order to get it.

For example, 64 per cent said they wouldn’t mind receiving text messages detailing offers based on past purchases when entering a physical store, and 60 per cent would be happy to receive opt-in advertising on their smartphones.

However, those surveyed were also fully aware of the potential risks to privacy with 86 per cent expressing concern about websites tracking their online shopping behavior, yet most (85 per cent) accepted that it was how companies needed to operate in order to present consumers with the best service.

Nearly two thirds of respondents (64 per cent) felt it more important that companies present them with relevant offers — 49 per cent went as far as to say that they’d be receptive to their favorite brands using tracking techniques to inform future purchases—with only 36 per cent saying that companies should stop tracking their online behaviour.

Social media playing a role

The influence of Amazon’s recommendations feature and social media sites could also be seen in responses with the overwhelming majority (88 per cent) of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they should be able to tailor and control how their personal information is used by companies to target the shopping experience.

Meanwhile, 92 per cent claimed to be influenced by a brand or company’s social media activity.

The better a company’s use of social media, the more likely a respondent was to make a purchase.

Those polled also claimed that Facebook was their preferred social media (67 per cent), and 80 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that uses online and email communications, and 70 per cent more inclined to buy from companies using mobile applications.

“It is clear that consumers are demanding a more individual relationship with retailers and in the emerging ‘forever prospect’ model of retailing, that means service and product experience can be more critical than price,” said Baiju Shah, managing director of strategy and innovation for Accenture Interactive.

“Consumer marketing needs to address the current disconnect between offline and online shopping and enhance the physical store front with tailored digital experiences.” ― Reuters


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