Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
According to research from Monash University, Aussie shoppers continue to enjoy traditional window shopping at brick and mortar stores, but increasingly want the ability to try out products virtually, or use their smartphone maps to locate the product that they want.
The research suggests that whilst traditional retailers are increasingly under attack from online sales, Australian consumers are not yet ready to abandon physical shops in favour of Internet retailers. Instead they expect much more from the in store shopping experience.
Selma Mehmedovic, a consultant at the university said what was key for tradition retailers to get customers to their stores was price, range of products and available stock. She added that consumers expect more from the in store experience such a coupons and maps available on their phone, information kiosks, and the ability to make their purchases and try out items virtually.
Ms Mehmedovic said the research suggested that the most useful in store experience were interactive maps, and in store pickups following online ordering.
In particular, Generation Y favour the ability to click and collect items, with 40 per cent of those polled saying this was a “highly appealing option”
“The research found 91 per cent of respondents rated interactive maps to assist with locating products as important to the shopping experience. Interestingly this figure was just as high for older generations as Gen Y.” Ms Mehmedovic said.
Walgreens a pharmacy chain in the US has developed a smartphone application for its shoppers which features an interactive map for all of its 7900 retail stores, and enables shoppers to locate any item from its shelves.
At the Melbourne store of OPSM, consumers now have the ability to try out items virtually so they can see which frames suit them best. Topshop has virtual fitting rooms which enable customers to see what outfits will look like on them without having to physically try the item on.
The ability to digitally order and then physically pick up what highly rated. 84 per cent of those polled said this was important, whilst 77 per cent wanted interactive kiosks to provide, information, ideas and inspiration.
“For the brick-and-mortar store to survive it is important retailers understand fully the type of in-store experiences consumers require. They have to offer experiences consumers cannot get online.” Ms Mehmedovic said.