Andrey Popov - stock.adobe.com
Many consumers believe they are more digitally innovative than some of the brands they shop at, according to research by Salmon.
Its study found that 57% of consumers worldwide believed they were more digitally forward-thinking than some retailers and commerce services, and 60% said they would be more likely to shop with a digitally innovative retailer.
Consumer loyalty is becoming increasingly affected by the services that retailers provide, such as fast delivery, low price and social media interaction.
In Salmon’s research, 88% of consumers said the speed of delivery of an item was more important to them than the brand they ordered.
Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Salmon, said the growth in digital commerce was causing a decrease in customer brand loyalty as the focus shifts towards price and convenience.
“Loyalty is still there to be captured,” he said. “Consumers are increasingly loyal to services over retailers. This is largely because the likes of Amazon are seen to be innovating and delivering the best overall experience to the consumer.
“It is this ‘experience’ that drives loyalty and will be the difference between being a leader in digital commerce and being left behind.”
As technology such as smartphones and smart home devices becomes increasingly embedded in people’s lives, retailers are being forced to develop an omni-channel remit, offering a consistent digital service across several channels, such as online, through smartphone applications, on mobile and in store.
Almost a quarter of the consumers surveyed by Salmon said they identified themselves as “digitally obsessed” and made almost all their purchases online, and 45% were either using, or planning to use, devices such as Amazon Echo, Alexa or Google Home to make their purchases over the next year.
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Consumers said they were more likely to use these devices than smart lighting, fridges or Apple Home because their brand loyalty is affected by how these services control the products offered to the consumer.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a huge part of everyday life, and it has been predicted that in the future AI, robots and drones will play a bigger part in the shopping and delivery process.
Almost 60% of consumers said they could see the benefit of allowing technology to make automatic goods purchases based on a set of product preferences.
The growing demands on retailers are illustrated by the fact that 60% of consumers feel all online retailers should offer same-day delivery. This has increased since 2016, when most consumers were content to wait an average of 2.6 days for deliveries.
More than half of consumers now think they could not go a single day without connected devices, and 69% of those surveyed by Salmon wanted to see technology innovation used to improve the customer experience.
Fletcher added: “Retailers need to offer consumers a host of convenient services and harness innovative technologies in the process if they are going to attract and retain customers’ attention. As consumers are becoming more open to trying new technologies – or expect to in the coming months – retailers need to put in the groundwork from now if they are to meet these high expectations.”
To stay ahead of the curve, some retailers have a huge emphasis on technology to help quickly develop and deploy new and innovative ways to serve customers, such as self-driving vans and robotic picking arms, while other retailers are taking advantage of tech startups to integrate new technologies into their existing systems.