Study: Consumers Want More Communications From Retailers

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Study: Consumers Want More Communications From Retailers


NEW YORK -- Do you think retailers communicate too often with their customers?

Actually, it's not true, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value 2011 Retail Industry Study, released today at the National Retail Federation's NRF Annual Convention and Expo. More than 28,500 people from 15 countries were contacted for the survey, which found that 76 percent of people think retailers do not communicate with them often enough. Only 24 percent said they are contacted too frequently.

One thing retailers are doing really well is branding. Globally, 72 percent of respondents said they are aware of retailer branded products. Broken down even further, 85 percent of participants said they were familiar with grocery branded products.

The survey, conducted during a six-month period last year, also revealed plenty of other aspects regarding retailers. One major takeaway is that consumers are willing to provide details about themselves. According to the IBM study, consumers are willing to provide information to retailers about their media usage (75 percent); demographics (73 percent); identification such as name and address (61 percent); lifestyle (59 percent); and location (56 percent) for a more targeted and smarter shopping experience.

In addition, customers are loyal. Eighty percent of respondents said the last time they shopped for a particular product, they visited the primary retailer with which they are most familiar. During their penultimate visit for a certain product, 73 percent of the global survey participants entered that primary retailer's store.

Specifically stateside, when Americans were asked if they agreed that their primary retailer offered low prices, only a narrow majority (51 percent) concurred.

As for purchasing patterns, 71 percent desire to shop digitally using technology (e.g. website, mobile, social network, retailer website to co-create products, TV using remote control, social videos such as YouTube, electronic games) -- 29 percent desire to use one technology, while 18 percent want use two and 24 percent would prefer to use three.

Speed of technology could be a challenge for retailers, though.

"The speed of technology innovation, consumer adoption and access to information has created an environment where everything is known and the consumer is truly the one in power, coalescing around shopping communities of 'we,'" said Jill Puleri, global retail leader, IBM Global Business Services. "Retailers can win over this empowered consumer based on re-establishing a trusted relationship and building loyalty through improving the store environment, product assortment and store communications."