Quick take: Findings released in the fourth edition of the Salesforce Connected Shoppers Report reveal a growing gap between heightened expectations of surveyed shoppers and the retail industry’s ability to deliver on them.
Driving the news: Short-term solutions implemented by brands and retailers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — like curbside pickup and virtual styling — changed what shoppers expect from their retail experience. Findings from the Connected Shoppers Report reveal that as the line continues to blur between physical and digital touchpoints, shoppers expect brands and retailers to play by their rules, with little patience for subpar experiences.
To meet expectations, retailers and brands have embraced a variety of new channels and options, but they still are adapting to today’s more complex shopping journeys. In order to deliver more connected experiences, surveyed retail executives plan to employ more data scientists to operationalize data and evolve their technology stacks.
Fast facts: Based on the responses of shoppers and retail executives surveyed, the Connected Shoppers Report found that:
- The share of transactions across brand websites and apps, retailer websites and apps, and online marketplaces each surged nearly 40% between 2019 and 2021 as shoppers embraced a range of digital channels to make purchases.
- Millennials and Gen Z value exclusive access to limited products and experiences nearly two times more than Silents and Baby Boomers when it comes to loyalty programs.
- 80% of shoppers will abandon a retailer after three bad experiences.
- The average retail organization uses an estimated 44 different systems to manage customer experiences, which makes it difficult to deliver unified shopping experiences.
- While 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, only 32% of retail executive respondents say their organizations have the full ability to turn data into personalized prices, offers, and products in real time across channels and touchpoints.
The Salesforce perspective: “COVID-19 has changed shopper expectations permanently,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail, Salesforce. “Our research shows a growing need to remove friction across the nine touch points of a typical shopping journey. Brands and retailers will need to increase investments that unify the digital and physical worlds to provide a seamless and personalized experience.”
Explore further: To generate the insights found in the Connected Shopper Report, Salesforce conducted two double-blind surveys of 1,600 global shoppers and more than 1,000 retail executives between July and September 2021.
- Read the full report.