Secrets of UK Phy-gital Shoppers Can Unlock the Next Wave of Growth

A study released by Mindtree reviews the evolution of the “phy-gital” shopper and explores how omnichannel needs to combine online and in-store experience to provide effective convenience for customers, especially in the UK.

The independent study, “Discover the Phy-gital Shopper: A Survey by Mindtree” found that these high-expectation shoppers are more phy-gital than shoppers in the US, Benelux or Germany. UK shoppers prefer to combine online and in-store experiences in whatever way is most convenient or efficient for them. Their behaviour has flipped the traditional supply and demand model. With today’s connected shopper, demand now discovers supply.

At the hint of a need, this new breed of shopper interacts with various media and devices to find what they want. The paradigm shift is fuelled by new technologies such as cloud apps, machine intelligence and connected smart devices.

The study surveyed 630 consumers across the UK, asking them to rate different online and in-store features across apparell, grocery, and home and garden segments. Although details of shoppers’ top preferences and desires differed somewhat by market segment, five broad themes emerged that retailers will find useful:

  1. Shoppers expect a seamless experience across channels – 70 per cent say they combine online and in store purchases
  2. Shoppers want to take advantage of in-store technology – 20 per cent want to use technology for locating products and self-checkout at kiosks for a faster shopping experience
  3. Shoppers will share personal information, but not on social media – 90 per cent are willing to share personal information for a better experience but only 5 per cent want social networking with retailers
  4. Shoppers want more information, whether online or in-store – 21 per cent of apparel shoppers want a 360-degree view of online products
  5. Shoppers will spend more if they have a remarkable experience – 17 per cent of apparel and grocery shoppers want to redeem loyalty points across channels

Doug Stephens, Retail and Consumer Futurist, and Founder of Retail Prophet said, “Until recently we have tended to view the dynamic between the web and physical stores as binary, with one format winning out over the other. This clearly isn’t true. We will see ecommerce become increasingly physical, tactile and immersive, and the in-store experience significantly more web like, connected and data-rich. In fact, technology is rapidly driving the evolution of both formats. In time, the lines between the two formats will become so blurred it will be difficult to know if the retail experience we’ve just had was digital or physical.”

Radha R., Mindtree’s Executive Vice President of Retail, CPG and Manufacturing added, “With the most phy-gital shoppers we have seen so far, the UK is at the forefront of the changing global retail landscape. It has become crucial for retailers to meet these shoppers at the critical moments across all media, devices and channels-and to offer a remarkable experience that makes them stand out in a crowded marketplace. Obviously there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but the smart retailers will conduct a comprehensive assessment of their omni-channel readiness.”