Consumers Prefer Smartphones to Associates
Two words for those working as store associates in retail:
bank tellers. A new survey by Accenture on how consumers use mobile devices
to shop shows that a large majority prefer to get information they need on
products and pricing from their smartphone rather than talk to a store employee.
to the research, 73 percent favor their smartphone to handle "simple
tasks" in stores rather than speaking with an employee. Seventy-one percent,
for example, would prefer to use their smartphone to find out if an item is
in stock versus 17 who would take the talking with another human approach.
will permanently change the relationship between the store and the shopper,"
said Janet Hoffman, managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice, in a
press release. "Today’s tech-savvy consumer wants a seamless shopping experience
across store, mobile or online at a time that suits them. Ultimately, this
trend will lead to a new definition of the store; purpose, place and size are
all up for debate. Already we are seeing some shoppers treating stores more
like a showroom to test products and then making their purchase online."
use of smartphones brings a number of challenges for retailers.
to use all of their customer information to better understand how and when
their customers want to engage with them, ask them questions or just check
some basic product details," said Ms. Hoffman. "Only
then can they deliver a personalized and enjoyable experience, while lessening
the risk of alienating customers through unwanted approaches."
Discussion Questions: In what ways do you think smartphones will most affect
how consumers shop? Conversely, how will retailers need to change their approaches
to meet changes in shopping behavior?
- Use of Smartphones by Bargain-Hunting
Consumers is Changing the Customer-Retailer Relationship, Accenture Survey
Finds – Accenture