holiday_shopper

Canadians want a more mobile shopping experience this holiday season, but retailers aren’t delivering, according to a new survey from Accenture. The online survey of more than 1,500 Canadians found that only 2% will do the majority of their holiday shopping through mobile apps or mobile-enabled websites.

But it’s not for lack of interest: the majority said they’re interested in mobile apps and mobile-enabled websites to shop for holiday gifts and help them monitor their loyalty points (61%), receive and use promotions (54%) and scan items in their cart to keep a running total (49%).

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“There is greater demand for both digital and mobile shopping experiences than actual take up, partly because retailers haven’t invested in executing the digital experience that consumers are demanding,” said Robin Sahota, managing director, retail at Accenture.

“Consumers are looking for their digital device to be a companion in their shopping experience… They want to be engaged through apps and through the mobile device, and they certainly want to transact through it.”

In-store shopping still rules, with 62% of respondents saying it’s their preferred method for holiday shopping. But there are pain points with the in-store experience: 58% don’t like long lines and crowds, 40% said the stores are too far, 36% are frustrated by a lack of inventory/options, 21% dislike parking challenges, and 25% said they don’t have time to shop in store.

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The top reasons for shopping with a smartphone or tablet are: being able to avoid crowded stores (57%), find better deals (56%), and convenience (47%). However, the reasons consumers avoid shopping on mobile device are: privacy and security concerns (38%), frustration with retail sites that are not optimized for mobile browsing (28%), and difficulty finding products on sites or apps (18%).

The survey also found that 70% of Canadians said they could be convinced to download a retailer’s app, with the most important incentives being the ability to view their loyalty program (35%), locate items in store (31%), and access personalized offers and coupons (29%).

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“Retailers need to get to a place where they’re really engaging the consumer through the device as opposed to just putting out offers or information that can be neglected and looked over,” said Sahota. Those that do engage with consumers will benefit by winning customers, increasing traffic, building loyalty, he added.

“Frankly, all of that engagement is also an opportunity to collect more information about the consumer and to be insightful about who that consumer is,” said Sahota. “[That] helps to protect your loyal consumers but also win over new ones.”

The survey found that Canadians are willing to share their personal information with retailers if it means they have a better retail experience through promotional offers. Sixty-eight percent said coupons or discounts would entice them to share more personal information with retailers, and 55% would share information for loyalty rewards.

“There’s a perception that consumers don’t want to share personal information, but they will in exchange for something,” said Sahota.

This article originally appeared at Marketing Magazine.

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