Salesforce Delivers ‘2015 Connected Shoppers Report’

To succeed during the holidays, new research indicates retailers need to fix disconnected shopping experiences, empower store associates and target the trillion-dollar Millennial consumer

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19, 2015 -- Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM company, today released its “2015 Connected Shoppers Report.” With the holiday season approaching, the research surveyed more than 2,000 American adults (referred to as “shoppers” or “consumers”), exploring their current attitudes, habits and use of technology as part of the shopping experience.

Retailers today are facing stiff competition from multiple sources -- from the retailer down the street, to online retailers, to flash sale websites that claim to offer the best deals. As Black Friday approaches, and with more than $950 billion expected to be spent this holiday season in the United States , new research from Salesforce shows that in order to succeed, retailers need to accelerate digital transformations to provide personalized, 1-to-1 customer journeys for customers.

The study was commissioned by Salesforce and conducted online by Harris Poll in October 2015. To download the Salesforce “2015 Connected Shoppers Report,” click here: http://www.salesforce.com/shopper-survey/

2015 Connected Shoppers Report Key Findings
● As Black Friday approaches, consumers are avoiding physical stores.
○ Eighty-eight percent of shoppers who avoid going to physical stores during the holiday season do so due to the crowds (82%), limited parking (48%), convenience of online shopping (48%) and a lack of knowledge/service from seasonal employees (24%).
○ Nearly half (49%) of shoppers who responded find the post-holiday gift return process difficult in stores.
● Retailers struggle when it comes to leveraging technology to create seamless, omnichannel experiences for shoppers.
○ In-store shoppers want store associates to know what they have previously purchased in the store or online (31%), but only 10% of consumers expect this to actually happen.
○ More than 80% of consumers research products online before going into a store. And while studies continue to prove the importance of an omnichannel shopper experience, very few consumers surveyed in this report have downloaded retailer mobile apps (33%) or see a connection between retailers’ online, mobile or in-store channels.
Consumers have taken the driver’s seat in the shopping experience.
○ Nearly half of in-store shoppers (48%) believe that they typically know more about a retailer’s product than the store associate.
○ While 47% of shoppers continue to ask store associates for their opinions on products, 67% sometimes have doubts around whether associates are telling the truth.
○ Half of consumers would be more likely to shop at a certain retailer based on the technology store associates use to assist customers.
○ More than a quarter of in-store shoppers (28%) agree that robots could replace store associates.
● Millennials, a trillion-dollar market for retailers, are willing to trade their personal data for a better shopping experience.
○ Over one-third of Millennials (ages 18-34) who shop at stores (36%) would like retailers to know who they are when they walk into stores with location-based technologies.
○ Nearly two-thirds of Millennials (61%) are willing to disclose their personal data and social media profiles to brands to get better service.

Comments on the News
● “Retailers are no longer just competing with the store down the block during the holidays. They’re competing with Amazon,” said Shelley Bransten, SVP of retail, Salesforce. “This new research indicates that brick-and-mortar brands that bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds have the best chance of thriving during the holidays--and beyond.”
● “To succeed in this new era of the digital shopper, companies need to put customers at the center of everything they do,” said Jodie Fox, Co-founder, Shoes of Prey. “It’s all about creating a personalized experience for each and every customer whether they are online or in-store.”

Additional Resources
● Download a full copy of the report here from the Salesforce Retail Team: http://www.salesforce.com/shopper-survey/
● Like Salesforce on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/salesforce.
● Follow @salesforce on Twitter.

Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce from October 28-30, 2015 among 2,046 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Salesforce
Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM company, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: http://www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit http://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

About salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is the world’s largest provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software. For more information about salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.