Bazaarvoice State of Retail Report finds shoppers crave in-store technology that mimics their online experience

Half (46%) of consumers are excited about the potential technology has to enhance their shopping experience 
Bazaarvoice, Inc., the provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, announced the results of its newest study, “The State of Retail Report”. The research is based on survey responses of over 8,000 consumers from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and Canada, and over 500 decision makers who work in retail from the same countries. The results uncover how retail has changed: before, shoppers wanted streamlined online experiences, but now, they want those same services in-person, too. U.K survey highlights include:
  • Shoppers want in-store tech that provides them with UGC: When consumers were asked what technologies they would like to see integrated into the in-store experience, virtual displays showing other customers’ reviews, photos, and videos (32%), QR codes that can be scanned to read reviews (35%), and availability of live/up-to-date star ratings in-store based on customer feedback (30%) were three of the most popular answers. Around a third of brands and retailers said those were the types of technologies they plan to integrate into the in-store experience.
  • In fact, consumers expect to see UGC everywhere they shop: 60% of global consumers want to see UGC on brand and retail websites and social channels, while a third want them displayed virtually in-store
  • Shoppers say their peers are the best influencers: UGC-displaying technology makes sense, as British consumers said that written reviews (49%) and photo or video content from fellow consumers (29%) are the two types of content they find most influential when used by brands or retailers.
  • Sellers agree: Brand and retailer decision makers in the UK also ranked reviews (53%) and customer photo and video content (37%) as the most influential elements of their sales and advertising efforts. Both consumers (12%) and brands and retailers (19%) ranked celebrity endorsements as the least influential.
“Consumers have shifted their attention to the ease and convenience of online, putting increasing pressure on brands and retailers to create the most innovative shopping experiences”, said Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice.
“Consumers are now used to discovering, purchasing, and advocating for products all within the e-commerce experience. To be enticed in-store, consumers need to have the same access to peer-to-peer content that e-commerce has rightly made them accustomed to, creating an in-store experience that matches the one they already enjoy online. Expectations are high and user-generated content has become as integral to the business success of brands and retailers just as much as a website or physical storefront.” Hill concludes.
“At Unilever, ‘content that converts’ is a critical part of our approach,” says Rahul Welde, EVP Digital Transformation and Digital Business at Unilever. “The voices of shoppers come out loud and clear in this Bazaarvoice research. They value and demand peer-to-peer insights along their shopping experience, online or in-store. The research provides substantive validation in the value of user-generated content for retailers and brands alike and serves as a powerful blueprint for actions.”
To see more of the State of Retail study, see Bazaarvoice’s infographic here.

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