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Voice of the Customer

Over the years, our lives have become consumed by technology – the average person checks their phone 85 times a day, whilst millennials check a staggering 150 times.

We live in a world where ‘digital technology’ is evolving at such a rapid pace, thus OnBuy.com, the UK online marketplace, sought to find out how technology has changed, and how it is impacting the retail industry. Onbuy.com also provides key advice to business owners how they can ensure their business can thrive in an ever-changing digital world.

Utilising a 2017 report by PWC, Onbuy.com looked at a survey of 24,471 respondents, from 6 continents and 29 territories, where they were asked about their shopping preferences, and how they have changed over the course of five years. OnBuy found that although in-store shopping is still the most popular among weekly and daily shoppers, the frequency of mobile shopping has overtaken tablet shopping, and is almost ready to overtake PC shopping.

If these PWC statistics are anything to go by, mobile shopping is set to overtake in-store shopping within the next five years.

To make in-store retail thrive once more, new technologies such as ‘augmented reality’ (AR) and ‘virtual reality’ (VR), are being adapted for use in the retail world. According to a recent study by KPMG, AR and VR are set to be “the next generation of disruption in the retail world”. In the near future, it is likely that customers will use AR and VR to explore products whilst browsing in-store.

OnBuy.com conducted their own survey of more than 1,500 respondents, aged between 18 and 40, regarding retail decisions made by consumers. OnBuy found that 54% of consumers see themselves using mobiles more in the future to make the in-store experiences better and more meaningful. A further 73% of consumers believe that retailers will have to keep up with new technology to improve their customer experience and retain customers.

For millennials, it is even more important to evolve and increase tech use, as a staggering six in 10 (61%) 25-to-34-year olds (millennials) find it easier to chat to stores via text, online chat or messenger apps, than go into store. Furthermore, half of millennials (52%), when in a shop, would even prefer to seek information online, rather than ask an in-store shop assistant.

Onbuy.com also found that just under half of consumers (47%) agree that they are more likely to buy from brands with stores that are different or interesting – and this increases to a staggering two thirds (65%) for millennials.

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