Consumers value in-store experience
July 22, 2013

Consumers are increasingly asking for options in their retail experience. Small and medium-sized businesses have invested in electronic payment systems to drive online sales and mobile payments to reduce customer checkout times. Although the retail landscape continues to expand and transform for consumer convenience, a new report from global measurement company Nielsen found customers still value the traditional in-store shopping experience for its customer service. SMBs should consider investing in credit card processing as consumers continue to move toward plastic payments and the physical purchasing environment remains important to the shopping experience.

The in-store experience is powerful
According to Nielsen's "Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behavior," customers still purchase products from end-aisle displays, use coupons at the point of sale and are influenced by in-store advertising when making purchasing decisions. The report surveyed 29,000 shoppers in 58 countries online, noting that 20 percent of consumers in North American buy goods displayed on aisle end-caps most of the time while 44 percent use coupons on a frequent basis. In fact, North Americans were more likely to utilize coupons than their international counterparts, with 88 percent using them regularly.

The report highlighted the continuing trend of consumers saving money by comparing prices, using coupons and purchasing products from discounted areas of the store, such as end-aisle displays. 

According to Retail Customer Experience, a merchant news website, many retailers are using the traditional value of the in-store experience to their advantage by investing in mobile technology, such as on-the-go payments. When customers are able to incorporate the convenience of digital innovations with their in-store experience, it improves their overall satisfaction with the business. Mobile technology allows employees to assist customers no matter where they are in the store, speeding up the shopping process.

For example, when customers are guided through the store with a mobile app, they are able to pinpoint the correct aisle of the product they're seeking instead of wandering through the building. Employees with portable electronics are also able to process shoppers' payments immediately instead of asking customers to wait in line. 

With consumers continuing to value the in-store shopping experience, investing in integrated payments is a great idea for SMBs. While customers still feel connected to the retailer by purchasing products from a brick-and-mortar location, they prefer buying goods with plastic and enjoy going online to review products before buying items. 

Nexus: G-WEBCD2