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Study: In the 'New Retail Democracy' consumers want access anywhere, commerce anywhere

The balance of power between consumer and retailer has irrevocably changed and the next seismic shift in the market will see the best retailers raising their game to stay attractive and relevant in this new model.

The newly empowered consumer wants to be his/her own:

  • Supply chain manager: deciding where to buy, ship, pick up and return orders.
  • Merchandise operations manager: considering ethical sourcing, price, delivery times and stock availability.
  • Merchant: reselling used or unwanted items on the global market places like eBay and Amazon.
  • Brand marketer: engaging on social networks, reviewing products and educating peer groups.

With these power shifts in mind, Oracle recently conducted research into the shopping habits and attitudes of consumers, surveying 4,500 adult consumers from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the UK and USA.

The findings helped to sharpen the picture of the newly emerging "access anywhere, commerce anywhere" consumer. Based on the results, these shoppers are demanding access to availability, product information and price in a variety of ways — in-store, online and on mobile devices. And as these consumer expectations have risen, tolerance for failure at any point in the delivery of "commerce anywhere" has become paper-thin.

The "New Retail Democracy" study found that:

  • Availability trumps price: 58 percent regard availability as more of a priority than how much they need to pay.
  • Understanding whether a product is available influences loyalty and spend: 46 percent say they are more likely to be loyal to a retailer that provides availability information and 30 percent say they are more likely to spend more with said retailers.
  • There are consequences when product is not available in a convenient location or delivery timeframe: only 8 percent will wait for backordered product to come into stock, while 47 percent will search online and 41 percent will try another retailer.
  • Consumers see the most value in technologies that provide information:  33 percent see the most value in visibility of stock "so I can purchase when I want"; 24 percent are looking for access to product information through digital and store channels.

In this first Oracle survey on consumers' appetite for access, the majority clearly indicate how strongly consumer desirers will guide retail technology investment in coming years.

Empowering the consumer with access and commerce anywhere will require retailers to re-orchestrate their operations, connecting planning, buying, merchandising, marketing and supply chain capabilities across all touch points, including stores. Ultimately, it's an alignment of the consumer with the necessary business process, connecting with the customer's journey — whatever and wherever that is.

SEE THE RESEARCH RESULTS: Download "The New Retail Democracy"...

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