In-Store Tech Proves Influential for Shoppers

January 17, 2012

cisco-influence-of-in-store-technology-jan12.gifHalf of US and UK shoppers either use in-store kiosks (20%) or would be interested in using them (31%) for self-service of accessing web-based content, while a similar proportion currently use (21%) or are interested in using (27%) digital screens in-store to help them shop, according to a study released in January 2012 by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). Roughly 2 in 5 shoppers say that video walls could change what they buy, and more than one-third use or want to use mobiles and tablets for in-store digital content delivery.

According to results from a Motorola Solutions survey released in December 2011, the vast majority of shoppers report that self-help technologies have improved their shopping experience, with the highest approvals being for price checkers (83%), self-checkout payment lanes (65%), and information kiosks (59%).

Kiosks, Mobiles Help Capture Traffic

Data from IBSG’s “Catch ‘Em and Keep ‘Em” indicates that a majority of shoppers report current activity (24%) or interest (29%) in conducting research at an in-store kiosk and making their purchase immediately in the store. A further 46% report use (19%) or report a willingness (27%) to conduct research at an in-store kiosk and pick up their items at the store at a later date, while 43% use or want to use an in-store kiosk to then coordinate delivery of an item to a location of their choice.

Mobiles also can play a key role: 45% of shoppers reported current activity or interest in conducting research with a mobile device and then making their purchase in the store, while 44% felt that way about conducting research with a mobile device and then making their purchase on a PC.

Online Beats Offline for Decision-Making

When asked to identify the top 3 most important sources of information used to help make buying decisions, 68% cited customer reviews on retailer sites, ahead of friends and family (41%) and online professional reviews (36%). The previous year, friends and family (60%) had taken the top spot, with customer reviews (52%) and online professional reviews (29%) trailing.

In-Store Concepts Find Appeal

The IBSG tested various in-store concepts with shoppers to gauge their appeal by demographic. “Immersive shopping,” where shoppers select and “wear” items virtually by standing in front of a large, full-length screen, was the most popular concept among all groups, and garnered high interest from women of all ages, but particularly among the Gen Y (aged 18-29) and Silver (aged 65 and older) age groups. “Product Viewer,” where shoppers use a large, high-definition display to look for specific product or browse was most interesting to Gen X (aged 30-49) and Gen Y men, as well as women of all ages. “Shelf Help,” where shoppers receive expert advice through self-service guided selling or via video chat with a remote expert, had the most consistent appeal across segments, while the “personal mobile shopper,” where shoppers are greeted on their mobile device as they enter the store and get personalized offers based on past transactions and likes on the retailer’s Facebook page, was most popular with Gen Y women, with Gen Y men not far behind. Finally, “shopper favorites,” where shoppers view new products, top sellers, and most “liked” on large, constantly updated, high-definition display was the most interesting to Gen Y, Boomer (aged 50-64), and Silver women.

About the Data: The IBSG 2011 online study involved 1,000 US and 1,000 UK customers.

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