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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Consumers are demanding a Flawless On-Line Shopping Experience

Consumers continue to demand a flawless on-line shopping experience. What drives consumer behavior and what influences them during the on-line encounter?

At the top of the list, Shoppers leverage promotions such as discount coupons or free shipping when buying on-line.

Shoppers want a simple shopping cart process that makes checkout fast and easy

Shoppers frequently will use reviews and ratings when making a purchase

Shoppers have adopted retail branded mobile apps in making e-commerce purchases

Shoppers continue to showroom and use bar code tools to scan and check pricing while in a store to make a buying decision. His is more prevalent in a shopping mall where multiple stores may sell the identical item.

Shoppers expect a easy customer service experience when interacting with the contact center

What is really interesting is that the smartphone has become the bridge between the online and in-store experience. This has completely changed the buying process and consumers are voting with their feet and wallet especially on big ticket items.

1)     Let’s take a popular book seller who charges $ 39.00 Canadian for the book S by J.J. Abraham and Doug Dorst  while the US price is $35. When the dollars were at par the Canadian consumer was gouged. The online price from the same book seller is $24.45 but with free shipping for orders above $25. You have to buy another book to get free shipping since you are 45 cents shy of the offer. So if you are lucky you will get two books for the same price as the in-store price. Free shipping and price is the key driver on this transaction.

2)     Want to simplify your coffee buying experience? The Starbucks smartphone app makes buying easy and also manages your rewards program which in the past was always a headache as it was email and coupon driven. Starbucks is the number one choice for the mobile user.

Take Tim Hortons that also has an app but no rewards program AND the scan to pay application only works in select locations centered in the St. Catherines area. Hmmm my city is not included….No Timmy Me app for me.

Second Cup has no App.

McDonalds has no app and uses stickers for their coffee rewards program.

No surprise that Starbucks is leading the mobile consumer gain coffee cup down.

3)     I need to find an extra battery for my Samsung Note 3 and I am at the mall. I scan the bar code at one store where its list price $49.95, the other store has it list price as well. Hmmmm Amazon has it for $40 with shipping…If I can wait a week for delivery I save $10 plus another $1.30 in tax. Showrooming can save a consumer money.

4) I have a problem with a reward on my Starbucks card. However, I need to enter my 16 digit card number and also a 8 digit pin in order to get help while calling in. I use the mobile app so I have no clue what the numbers are. I sit in the Starbucks and cannot do much until I get home. Can I not just touch a button on the app and it calls in for me and exchanges the info the agent needs before I can discuss my problem?

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