Right-Sizing Retail Expectations for Today’s Consumers

Just read yet another post on the future of the store.

Once again, it was all about technology. Wearables. Beacons. Smart shopping carts. And no surprise, “personalized experience.”

What’s missing? Even a thought about the shopper and more importantly, shopper expectations.

Not experiences. Expectations. What will satisfy – and better yet, delight – the shopper? And what creates a reason to return again?"


Store Expectations: Study 1

Two thought-provoking studies came across the desk this past week.

The first, from eMarketer, citing a recent study by OrderDynamics on the prevalence of buy online – pick-up in store (BOPUS) functionality, offered as of early summer 2017, and assessed across five leading retail nations.

buy online pick up in store shopper rate among retail sites by country - June 2017

Given that the UK is the world’s leader in digitally-driven shopper behavior (from online research to mobile), it’s no surprise that UK retailers also lead in BOPUS implementation.

These are retailers responding to (and anticipating) expectations for seamless shopping.

Expectations largely created – and here’s the punch line – by the experience of shopping on the internet.

Primary research by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group over the years 2010-2013, showed a remarkable curve in shopper expectations. Definitions of “acceptable” and “exceptional” increasingly corresponded to e-commerce experiences – and most often, Amazon’s.

These are expectations for product availability. Depth and breadth of information. Peer and expert ratings and reviews. Suggestions for accessories and go-withs.

And for what we’d now call frictionless check-out. And most of all, for speed!

Stuff that creates value in a shopper’s eyes.

Store Expectations: Study 2

The second study came from Akamai. Citing Google data, it showed that when the loading of an e-commerce page was 100-milliseconds slower (from 2.8 to 2.7 seconds) conversion declined of between 2.4% (desktop users) and 7.1% (mobile users).

Keep in mind that 100 milliseconds is one-tenth of a second.  A complete blink of an eye takes 300-400 milliseconds.

When the loading of the page was just two seconds slower (two seconds, folks), conversion declined nearly 37% for desktop users, and more than 26% for mobile users.

Let’s say you just researched products online, and you’ve become accustomed to not waiting longer than X milliseconds for a page to load . . .  and now you’re dealing with one of the some 70% of USA retailers that don’t offer BOPUS.

Or you need to wait until tomorrow to learn if your product is available for pick-up.   

Expectations met?  Exceeded?  Or dashed?"


Customer Expectations

Future of the store? We need to define it through the eyes of the shopper – and better yet, according to the source of the rapidly-evolving expectations of today’s cross-channel, time-stretched consumer

Maybe we need to be thinking about envisioning (and building) living-breathing websites.

Tell me what you think.

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Jon Stine

About Jon Stine

Global Director Retail Sales at Intel. Jon Stine leads Intel’s global sales and strategy for the retail, hospitality, and consumer goods industry sectors. His CV includes leadership of North American retail consulting practice for Cisco Systems, and a prior stint at Intel, where he founded the company’s sales and marketing focus on the retail industry. His perspective on technology’s value in the industry has been shaped by advisory and project engagements in the United States, across the European Union, and in India, Australia, and the People’s Republic of China, and from 15 years of executive sales and marketing experience in the U.S. apparel industry, working with the nation’s leading department and specialty stores. At Intel, his current areas of research and engagement include the future of the store in this new digital age; how and where retailers turn data into competitive advantage; the role of technology within the new cross-channel shopper journey, and, the critical business and IT capabilities that industry success will demand going forward.