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Cisco: Consumers increasingly prefer self-service shopping experiences

BY Marianne Wilson

San Jose, Calif. — The majority (61%) of global consumers are open to shopping at a ‘self service’ fully automated store with vending machines and kiosk stations offering virtual customer service, according to a new survey by Cisco.

The report, the Cisco Customer Experience Report, examined the impact of automation, self-service and omni-channel shopping experiences and consumers’ views about providing their personal information in exchange for more personalized services. It found that when checking out, the majority of consumers globally (52%) prefer self-checkout stations to avoid waiting in line to make purchases.

The younger consumers were the most accepting of this shopping experience with 57% of the generation Y (aged 18 to 29) and 55% of the generation X shoppers (aged 30 to 49) preferring self-checkout, while baby boomers (50+) only represented 45%.

“The data in Customer Experience Report shows a growing consumer desire for an omni-channel shopping experience, where the speed and personalization they receive online is delivered in an increasing self-service manner in the store,” said Jon Stine, retail services practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group.

The Cisco report surveyed 1,511 consumers across 10 countries to examine the perceptions of consumers on their desired retail shopping experience.

Among its findings:

  • Omni-channel continues to grow with 34% of global consumers using multiple channels when shopping. The survey shows 23% of consumers recently made in-store purchase based on research they did online, and 11% of shoppers purchased online after seeing it in a retail store.
  • When researching products in the store, 43% prefer using their own mobile phone while 57% consumers prefer using in-store touch screens.
  • Forty-nine percent of consumers would allow an automated engine to make purchases for replacement products automatically, for example this could include restocking milk in the refrigerator.
  • More than half (52%) of global consumers would likely purchase a device to help them stay on budget for the retail purchases of cloths and other retail purchases.
  • Sixty-five percent of global consumers are comfortable receiving mobile retail advice based on their location through their mobile device.
  • Although many shoppers want automation when purchasing, consumers are evenly divided, with 58% of consumers preferring help from an in-store associate. And when shopping online, slightly more consumers prefer to instant message with a sales associate (30%), or call them on the phone (28%) verse sending an email (27%).

Overall, according to Cisco, the report demonstrates consumer interest in more automated and personalized shopping experiences; the type of connections made possible by what Cisco describes as the “Internet of Everything.” The Internet of Everything brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Cisco recently released an analysis that identified a $14.4 trillion in bottom-line business value that will be created over the next decade by the Internet of Everything innovations.

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T.Platt says:
Jun-06-2013 02:41 pm

Consumer preferences
Consumers want to shop their own way, so give them the #CEX they want, across all channels http://amex.co/13rIN5K

T.Platt says:
Jun-06-2013 02:41 pm

Consumers want to shop their own way, so give them the #CEX they want, across all channels http://amex.co/13rIN5K

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Walgreens weathers May chill for Q3 sales gains

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens reported sales of $18.3 billion for the third quarter, up 3.3%. Same-store sales increased 1.3%, with front-end comparable store sales up by 0.3% and pharmacy comp sales up 2%. Prescriptions filled were up 7% for the quarter.

Sales of Walgreens’ shares were up $1 to $49.03 in early-morning trading.

Walgreens reported that more than 72 million Walgreens faithful have signed on for the company’s Balance Rewards loyalty program through May.

Walgreens’ May sales totaled $6.2 billion, representing an increase of 4.3%, with a 2.8% lift in same-store sales. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 7.1% in May and increased 7.5% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s May had one additional Friday and one fewer Tuesday compared with May 2012. These calendar shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 40 basis points.

May pharmacy sales increased by 4.4%, while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 3.8% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 4.2%.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 63.1% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 3.4% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while comparable store front-end sales increased 1.2%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 3.5% while basket size increased 4.7%.

Walgreens opened 13 stores during May, including two relocations, and closed one.

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NRF launches job board on revamped site

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation has launched Retail Jobs powered by NRF, a recruiting and search tool developed specifically for retailers and job seekers.

The job board will serve as a fundamental part of NRF’s This Is Retail: Careers, Community, Innovation campaign, launched in April.

“Whether in stores or corporate headquarters, retail offers incredible career opportunities in fields like marketing, finance, technology, loss prevention, merchandising and management, and Retail Jobs powered by NRF is tangible proof that our industry offers diverse and unique career paths for some of the world’s most recognizable brands,” said NRF Foundation executive director Ellen Davis. “Creating one job board for retailers to showcase their professional level careers will help connect employers with fantastic candidates at all levels of the spectrum.”

Retail Jobs powered by NRF will provide retail companies the opportunity to showcase the assortment of positions they have available. In addition to job board postings, employers have an opportunity to have their jobs featured in daily emails to thousands of retail professionals via NRF and Shop.org SmartBriefs. NRF, Shop.org and ARTS members will receive a special member rate for posting their jobs. Retail Jobs powered by NRF is powered by JobTarget, a leading provider of job websites and career centers for organizations that serve niche audiences.

Students looking for entry-level positions for a career in retail, as well as retail professionals and all other job seekers, can post resumes directly to the site for employers to search. Job seekers will be able to sort through available opportunities and post their resumes anonymously so retailers can view them.

NRF has also unveiled the complete version of its content-driven website, thisisretail.org. The website will house industry research, interactive content editorial posts by industry insiders and the newly created Retail Jobs powered by NRF job board.

This is Retail includes original content and a creative slideshow of the “most weirdly awesome” retail jobs and a careers roadmap that helps candidates decide which area of retail suits their skill set best. It also features personal stories from retailers and industry partners highlighting careers, community and innovation with a focus on how working within the retail has impacted them personally and professionally.

The NRF Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by donations from retail industry supporters.

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