MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Most tech-savvy shoppers will choose stores based on online services

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Jose, Calif. — Tech-savvy shoppers overwhelmingly look for ways to use smartphones and the Internet to save time and money while shopping in stores, according to new research from Cisco.

According to a Zogby Analytics poll commissioned by Cisco, tech-savvy shoppers – which represent nearly half of all Americans – find it valuable when stores offer free Wi-Fi, apps for smartphones, the ability to order out-of-stock items while in a store, and digital couponing. Most important, these shoppers are planning to make purchasing decisions based on the advanced online services offered by retailers.

More than 60% of tech-savvy shoppers said that they would be more likely to visit or shop at a store that offers smartphone apps and other in-store online services. And these shoppers have the money to spend. Nearly 30% of tech-savvy shoppers live in households that earned more than $100,000 per year — more than double the rate of all other shoppers.

"Consumers want the best of both worlds this holiday season — they want the social aspects of in-store shopping coupled with the benefits enabled by the Internet of Everything," said Blair Christie, Cisco senior VP and CMO. "This study shows that retailers who make investments in advanced technologies will be rewarded by tech-savvy shoppers with a larger discretionary income as well as build increased brand loyalty with young shoppers."

According to the study, the most tech-savvy of all in-store shoppers are the first generation of smartphone natives: 18-to-24-year-olds. The Zogby poll found that more than 80% of 18-to-24-year-olds own a smartphone, yet more than 75% plan on doing the majority of their holiday shopping at retail stores.

These consumers in particular want to combine the power of their smartphones with their desire to shop in stores. More than 95% found it valuable to receive holiday discounts/coupons via text or smartphone apps, and to use their smartphones to quickly check prices and order out-of-stock items with free delivery when shopping in a physical store.

However, retailers are currently missing out on an important way to connect with this demographic, as only 29% of young consumers have used a retailer’s app on their smartphone.


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FINANCE

Shoppers will spend half their holiday budget during Thanksgiving sales

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — More than 60% of consumers will start holiday shopping on Black Friday and most will spend more than 50% of their holiday budget over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to research by the Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research, sponsored by KPMG.

"This data confirms that new trends continue to change the holiday shopping experience for both consumers and retailers. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become as much a part of the Thanksgiving holiday as watching football and eating leftovers," said Alton Adams, advisory principal with KPMG LLP. "The intensity of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping, coupled with a rise in mobile and online sales, will force retailers to be prepared for the holiday weekend with a strategic multi-channel approach to seamlessly meet the needs of the customer."

Most consumers (63%) said they will use a combination of online shopping and in-store shopping to complete their list, and more than 40% said they would start shopping before noon. Just 6.2% said they absolutely would not shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Other insights included what consumers plan to purchase, both as gifts and for themselves. The survey found that the only item people are planning to buy more for themselves, rather than others, is electronics. The vast majority (80%) said their overall holiday spending this year would either be the same or less, as compared to 2012.


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News

Stein Mart swings to profit in Q3

BY CSA STAFF

Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart reported a return to profit in the third quarter, recording net income of $28,000 for the period ended Nov. 2, compared with a loss of $1.7 million last year. Results matched Wall Street expectations.

Revenue climbed 6% to $290.5 million from $273.7 million, topping Wall Street’s estimate of $287.9 million. Same-store sales rose 4.8%.

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