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Thanks to digital devices, mobile in particular, the path to purchase starts long before consumers step foot in-store. Still, brick-and-mortar isn’t dead, as evidenced by a June 2014 study by ORC International for Capgemini. Among digital shoppers worldwide, 72% said the traditional store experience was important when making a purchase—the highest percentage out of locations and channels studied. The internet landed second, at 67%.
Results indicated that there was indeed demand for a more digital store experience among today’s tech-savvy shoppers. The majority of respondents said that in-store technology, such as kiosks, was important when buying an item. Despite mobile’s rise and rumors of showrooming, smartphone websites and apps trailed behind in-store tech and even email as important channels for purchases.
According to March 2014 polling by UPS, comScore and the e-tailing group, electronic receipts sent via email or text were the most appealing in-store technology to US digital buyers, cited by 36%. In-store kiosks that would allow shoppers to order out-of-stock products or those not sold in-store ranked second, at 32%, while scannable shelf labels with info about a product and its availability, or that allowed purchases, were right behind this (30%).
Interest in in-store tech and the traditional store experience may not be enough for digital consumers, though. Capgemini noted that physical shops faced a grimmer future: Digital shoppers worldwide planned to order directly from brand manufacturers more in the coming years (65%), up ordering via a manufacturer’s app (53%) or third-party app (50%), spend more money on the internet than in a brick-and-mortar (51%) and turn to stores for showrooming rather than purchases (48%).
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