Consumers are increasingly using digital devices on the high street to give store feedback, check stock levels and check that they are getting the best deals, according to new research.
The latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG in January 2011 shows that consumers are using phones and PCs as well as the high street and now expect a seamless shopping experience from brands across all channels.
The study has also shown that 25% of smartphone users have been in a high street store and used a barcode scanner on their smartphone to scan items within the store and see if they can order cheaper elsewhere.
This illustrates that the high street stores need to ensure that they differentiate this channel of shopping by offering excellent customer service and ensuring stock is available and queues are kept to a minimum.
40% of people surveyed had given feedback digitally about a high street store after seeing a survey URL in a store or on a receipt, of those people 88% gave their feedback via a PC whereas only 7% have utilised their smartphones to give immediate feedback.
High street stores and their staff are also starting to embrace the digital link up with staff using digital devices to check stock levels for consumers. The study has shown that 39% of people surveyed have had staff in a high street use a smartphone, tablet, PC or kiosk to check stock levels for them.
Derek Eccleston, Research Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, ‘We are seeing the dawn of MEcommerce with digital now truly coming to the high street with consumers using technology to provide feedback and check prices with suppliers whilst the staff within stores are utilising the digital technology to offer the consumer excellent customer service by checking stock levels’.
David Smith, Managing Director at IMRG, said, ‘Developments in mobile-commerce have led to the phenomenon of the ever-connected consumer, who can access multiple retailer channels concurrently, while instantly comparing and contrasting with similar offerings on competitor sites. Although only 7% have provided immediate feedback to the store, people do update their friends on Facebook about being stuck in a long queue, receiving negative customer service or poor hygiene conditions. The need for high standards is more important than ever, as any individual retailer store is now a potential showroom for millions.’