When it comes to shopping expectations, retail executives and consumers simply disagree. A survey by First Insight Inc. found that retail executives “are inconsistent with consumers on online and in-store shopping preferences, categories that consumers want to buy and where to buy,” the company said today.
The Pittsburgh-based predictive analytics company said in its report that senior retail executives “are not keeping up with changing buying patterns and preferences” as they increasingly shop online. The survey found that 59 percent of consumers polled “plan to shop online this Christmas time, but only 35 percent of senior retail managers believed that consumers prefer to shop this way”.
“In addition, only 41 percent of consumers plan to shop in a physical store, compared to a majority (59 percent) of retail managers who expect consumers to go to the store this holiday season,” the report’s authors said.
Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight, said the data shows “the consumer has changed forever but the industry doesn’t understand how much they have changed.”
“While the industry has always lagged behind consumers and is responding and responding very well, it is clear that consumers love to shop online,” he said. “It is important that retailers and brands now anticipate these changes, including what and how consumers are buying and where. The only effective way to do this is by using the voice of consumers and getting the right experiences online and in-store. The industry must stop responding to and anticipating consumer behavior. “
The report also found that online conversions of beauty products are lower than those of retailers. First Insight said that while 41 percent of senior retail executives surveyed “believe consumers plan to buy beauty products exclusively online, only 25 percent of respondents agreed.”
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However, divergence was less for in-store beauty product purchases because “roughly the same number of executives (22 percent) and consumers (23 percent) predicted only in-store purchases”.
For apparel and footwear, 16 percent of executives surveyed said they believe shoppers will only buy apparel online for this vacation, compared with 31 percent of shoppers who said they did. “This equates to 8 percent of executives who believe that consumers will only buy clothes in stores, compared to 27 percent of consumers,” the company said.
For shoes, First Insight found that 11 percent of executives “believe that consumers will only buy shoes online, compared to twice that of consumers (25 percent), and while only 8 percent of executives believe that consumers will only buy shoes in-store will. 29 percent of consumers say they will. “
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