New York -- A study released Monday by Cisco revealed that, as retailers reinvent their in-store shopping experience in the face of the continued rise of e-commerce, digital content from the Internet has emerged as the most powerful influence in buying decisions for the majority of shoppers in all channels.
The third annual Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group study of consumers, entitled “Catch and Keep Digital Shoppers,” found that online ratings and reviews were the most influential source for making purchasing decisions, and that shoppers increasingly want access to digital content in stores through a variety of devices.
The study found a majority of shoppers, categorized as “Digital Mass Market,” have advanced beyond the capabilities of many retailers. These shoppers expect stores to operate with the same information, transparency and speed as their favorite website, and two-thirds are interested in personalized shopping experiences when visiting a store. Shoppers overwhelmingly prefer in-store self-service access to digital content (85%), with one in three using mobile searches to guide their purchasing decisions – up 20% from last year.
The Cisco study surveyed 5,000 shoppers across five countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico and China. Key results of the U.S. portion of the survey include:
Cisco also tested consumer interest in several key digital service concepts. Use of personal mobile shopping, an interactive room design experience, a touch-screen device to help select products, and automated pick-up for online orders all ranked high among shoppers – with roughly 50% of respondents stating they were interested in these types of services.
"It’s now very clear: consumers prefer to shop through bits and bytes, with the majority of shopping behaviors and expectations shaped by online sources. To shift shoppers into buyers, retailers need to merge online and physical services to meet the demands of today’s digital shoppers," said Dick Cantwell, VP and global lead, Retail, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group.