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Retailers Don’t Know What Consumers Want

Consumers are being left wanting by retailers not meeting customer expectations according to new research by Oracle Retail which highlights the fundamental reasons why retailers and customers don’t see eye to eye.

According to a new 15,800 respondent global consumer study, retailers don’t know what consumers want, with shoppers and retailers split on what constitutes a quality in-store experience.

Oracle highlights the split between both groups in how they view product returns, with 57% of retailers calling the process ‘very easy’ while the same volume of consumers disagreed calling it a ‘complete hassle’.

Faster shipping was also at the forefront of fundamental requirements from retailers to customers, with 92% wanting free one-day delivery by whatever means necessary, while delivery fees represented a 13% caveat for consumers when choosing to make repeat purchases.

Senior Vice Present and General Manager for Oracle Retail, Mike Webster, claims no matter what platform, ‘customers expect the same calibre of service in all interactions,’ meaning retailers have much higher competition when competing with ‘rival brands and new business models’.

An important factor for 86% of respondents was the ability to choose shipping options, with online-only retailers outperforming traditional retailers when it came to shipping flexibility.

Online retailers also provided more accurate delivery times, with items arriving on-time 52%, versus 49% for traditional and direct to consumer brands.

Furthermore, the study also highlighted loyalty rewards as able to create ‘personalised experiences’ and no longer being just about dynamic content or ‘special offers’.

Oracle indicates that consumers are seeking ‘preferential treatment’ based on brand relationships, with 48% of respondents basing their loyalty on discounts.

Recalls and product warnings were also of importance to consumers, with 52% holding greater trust in brands that respond immediately in the event of a product issue or recall.

Honesty and authenticity were paramount for generating trust between customers and new brands, with 47% highlighting trustworthiness as fundamental to brand relationships.

Although only one in five Generation Z and Millennials consumers completely trust what retailers tell them.

“Consumer expectations are perpetually in flux.”

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