PwC reveals trends in consumer behavior
February 06, 2013

While the merchant sector continues to speed toward a more digital landscape, brick-and-mortar locations are still the bread-and-butter of any retail brand. The most successful merchants will be those that cultivate a comprehensive customer experience, rich with mobile and online platforms that supplement strong physical store fronts.

Integrated payment systems can help merchants create the most streamlined transaction processing strategy, one that caters to the needs of mobile, online and in-store shoppers. By procuring these solutions and adapting to the increasing preference for electronic-based payments, merchants can continue to compete in the current market landscape.

PwC survey reveals in-store importance
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently announced the results of its latest Annual Survey of Online Shoppers, which found that in-store customer experiences are still the focal points for consumers. The study did back up certain long-held assumptions about shopping behavior, such as widespread use of social media and other digital channels to seek out and connect with merchants.

According to PwC,  45 percent of the 11,000 shoppers who responded to the survey still frequent physical locations of retailers on a daily or weekly basis. The report sought to debunk several retail myths, including the fact that consumers from different regions will continue to desire different things, despite globalization.

Further, the study explained that online retail, while growing in profitability, is still not as important as brick-and-mortar shopping locations. 

"Retailers should have realistic expectations when it comes to channels and devices, as shopping trends may not change drastically and social media and tablets are likely not taking over any time soon according to our survey respondents," PwC's U.S. retail and consumer sector leader Susan McPartlin explained. "While many forecasts point toward devices and social media dominating in retail, companies today need to utilize their multiple channels to  engage with consumers and use social media as a marketing and communication tool to create value. Our report finds that the physical store remains the centerpiece of the purchase journey, while devices are used significantly for product research and deals."

Moving with the trend
The survey also revealed that consumers are not only driven to purchase from certain stores because of lower prices, but are interested in loyalty and gift card programs, as well as better overall experiences. With integrated payment systems, merchants can ensure the strongest, most streamlined shopping experience for customers, leading to increased loyalty and subsequent higher revenues. 

 
 

Nexus: G-WEBCD2