The fourth edition of the Salesforce Connected Shoppers Report reveals a widening gap between surveyed shoppers’ rising expectations and the retail industry‘s ability to meet them.
The Salesforce perspective: “COVID-19 has changed shopper expectations permanently,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail, Salesforce.
He added, “Our research shows a growing need to remove friction across the nine touchpoints of a typical shopping journey. Brands and retailers will need to increase investments that unify the digital and physical worlds to provide a seamless and personalized experience.”
Driving the news: During the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, brands and merchants introduced short-term solutions like curbside pickup and virtual styling, which transformed what customers expected from their shopping experience. According to the Connected Shoppers Report, as the barrier between physical and digital touchpoints blurs, customers expect brands and stores to follow their rules, and they have limited patience for poor experiences.
Retailers and brands have adopted a number of new channels and solutions to satisfy expectations, but they are still adapting to today’s more complex buying journeys. Retail CEOs questioned want to hire more data scientists to operationalize data and expand their technology stacks in order to create more connected experiences.
Fast facts: The Connected Shoppers Report discovered the following based on the comments of shoppers and retail executives surveyed:
• Between 2019 and 2021, the share of transactions on brand websites and apps, retailer websites and apps, and online marketplaces each increased by about 40% as customers adopted a variety of digital channels to make purchases.
• When it comes to loyalty programmes, Millennials and Gen Z value exclusive access to limited products and experiences nearly twice as much as Silents and Baby Boomers.
• After three poor experiences, 80% of shoppers will abandon a retailer.
• The average retail firm manages customer encounters using an estimated 44 separate systems, making it challenging to create unified shopping experiences.
• While 66% of customers want businesses to understand their individual requirements and expectations, only 32% of retail executives believe their company have the complete capability to integrate data into personalised prices, offers, and products in real time across channels and touchpoints.
Explore further: Between July and September 2021, Salesforce performed two double-blind surveys of 1,600 global shoppers and more than 1,000 retail leaders to develop the insights featured in the Connected Shopper Report.