Because of digitisation, development of multi-channel communications, and increasing demands of customers, retail trade undergoes a process of huge changes. Comarch, a manufacturer and supplier of IT systems for retail and e-Commerce, has carried out a survey together with Kantar TNS into current and future behaviour of consumers, their expectations, and loyalty of customers in six European countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
There have been over 3,000 persons surveyed, 18 to 65 years of age. Those surveyed had to answer 13 closed questions. The survey results show that shopping behaviour depends on age. The younger the customers are, the bigger their openness to online shopping and e-offers. A trend of shifting sales online is visible, too, although 50 percent of shopping will still be done in brick-and-mortar shops. Nonetheless, the online and offline worlds will increasingly supplement and permeate each other since the customers are willing to search the web for information about products, however, they do their shopping in traditional brick-and-mortar outlets.
Modern technologies in the service of trade
The survey results show that digitisation in shops is of key importance for respondents in all age groups in each of the six countries. Customers expect introduction of digital services and mobile payments. Over 85 percent of the surveyed in all countries believe that the majority of shops will provide their customers with digital services, and that traditional check-outs will be replaced by mobile devices. Additionally, 77 percent of the respondents claims that there will be less traditional brick-and-mortar shops in 2030 than today. Furthermore, according to 61 percent of the surveyed sales assistants will be replaced by personal digital advisors.
The survey authors have also examined interests in receiving personalised offers. It turns out they are very big. Some 43 percent of the respondents are interested in offers that are tailored to their individual preferences and history of shopping. And that is so, even if they have to provide their data before.
Those surveyed were also asked about their attitude to using mobile services while shopping. Half of them is interested in receiving personalised offers. Italy is a leader in that respect. There, as much as 56 percent of the surveyed expects personalised offers, when they are in shops. For the sake of comparison, there are only 44 percent of such customers in Poland. Nearly half of the surveyed would wish to use navigation in the shop to find their way to products they are looking for. Out of the surveyed nationalities, Poles are the ones who expect such solution most frequently (55 percent). Comarch has also asked customers if they wish to receive personalised offers when they are nearby a shop. Only 28 percent of them responded positively. Here, Poles are below the average (24 percent), with Italians leading the pack (34 percent).
Gallery of the online shops
The report also shows that the web is not only a place for shopping, but a source of information about products, too, before customers decide to make a purchase. The results include the way in which respondents do their shopping, offline or online. The questions related to household appliances, TV, Hi-Fi, furniture and interior design, tools, home supplies, and gardening equipment and cosmetics, clothes, and jewellery. Electronic equipment is a category of goods that are most frequently purchased online. Some 33 percent of those surveyed purchase washing machines, fridges, vacuum cleaners, etc. online, and 31 percent of consumers buy TV and Hi-Fi devices. Additionally, a large percentage of customers make their shopping in a brick-and-mortar shop, but after they have done some reconnaissance in the web: household appliances (34 of the surveyed) and TV and Hi-Fi equipment (46 percent). A similar number of customers “goes online” to buy clothes and footwear, namely 33 percent. In case of furniture, accessories, and other designer products, 21 percent of customers make their shopping online, and 40 percent browses the web before they decide to do shopping in a brick-and-mortar shop. Cosmetics (21 percent of those surveyed), DIY and gardening tools (19 percent of those surveyed), and jewellery (17 percent of the surveyed) are among products that are least frequently purchased online. As concerns the last three categories, customers rarely do some reconnaissance in the web.
- Online sales grow year on year, and increasingly more entrepreneurs develop this sales channel. Despite that the future of brick-and-mortar shops seems to be unthreatened, since there are goods that we wish to check, see, touch, and test before buying. Nonetheless, online trade will certainly be developing across all sectors at the expenses of offline, with a varied pace of changes depending on the product category. Additionally, we will observe, and actually we already do see, a strong synergy of all channels. The customer expects freedom of moving between the online and offline worlds, the simplest example of which may be a Click&Collect option, or an online purchase to be collected in a brick-and-mortar shop – says Piotr Budzinowski, Director of the Comarch ERP Product Management Department.
Shopping – Polish style
Poles are willing to purchase furniture and household fittings online. Based on the survey carried out by Comarch, it appears that 26 percent of Poles decides to pursue this form of shopping to select sofas, wardrobes, tables, or beds. This is the highest percentage among the six surveyed countries, since the average is 21 percent. A similar development will be in a dozen or so years, with Poles still being leaders in furniture online shopping. Some 37 percent of the surveyed Poles declares that in 2030 they will be purchasing furniture online only, while a comparable market average in Europe will be 32 percent.
And how will shopping look like in 15 years' time?
Contrary to appearances, e-commerce will not scoop it all, people are still more willing to do shopping in a traditional channel than online. Only in the case of household appliances and TV and radio equipment nearly half of business (48 percent and 47 percent, respectively) will go online.
A full report by Comarch and Kantar TNS on “THE FUTURE OF SHOPPING. KEY TRENDS IN RETAIL TODAY AND IN 2030” is available on: https://www.comarch.com/trade-and-services/loyalty-marketing/resources/future-of-retail/