PwC recently published the findings of its Total Retail 2016 Survey. This was a significant research study that consisted of a survey of nearly 23,000 global consumers spanning five continents and 25 countries or territories.
The PwC survey report contains a wealth of valuable information for retailers and other enterprises that sell directly or indirectly to consumers. For example, PwC found that price is still the primary driver of overall retail shopping behavior, and that price and convenience are the primary drivers of online shopping.
PwC also found that global consumers still prefer to make purchases in physical stores (versus online) for ten out of eleven product categories. The one product category where online was preferred over in-store was books, music, movies and video games.
The PwC study also focused on how consumers are using smartphones to enhance their in-store shopping experience. Survey participants were asked: “Which of the following have you done using your mobile/smartphone whilst in-store?” The following table shows the top five activities identified by survey respondents. It also shows how millennials (18-34 years of age) responded compared to all other consumers.
Studies by other firms have produced similar results on this aspect of consumer shopping behavior. For example, recent research by Google indicates that many shoppers now view their smartphones as their “in-store research advisor,” and a 2015 study by inreality found that a significant percentage of in-store shoppers are using their smartphones to find product information, read product reviews, and get price comparisons.
The PwC survey provides more evidence that having detailed and rich product-related content that is mobile friendly is critical for retailers. These research findings also show why retailers need robust digital asset management and product content management technologies to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.