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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Consumer expectations high for digital-forward shopping, dining

A survey of U.S. consumers found that technology has become increasingly integral to the shopping and dining experience, and missteps en route can lead to negative consequences. Of those polled by Boomtown, 46 percent felt more confident in brands that deliver advanced technologies consistently; 44 percent were prepared to visit such brands more frequently as a result.

"Retail stores and restaurants should acknowledge that customers' expectations and demands have grown to include an intuitive, seamless technology-driven experience," said Alfred "Chip" Kahn IV, founder and CEO of Boomtown, a merchant technology deployment firm.

Digital-forward brands that scored well with consumers are transforming the in-store experience by offering a range of digital payment options, online ordering and local pick up capabilities, self checkout as an option, and other digital offerings like in-store Wi-Fi and real-time order information, researchers noted.

Perils of not getting it right

Boomtown found that delivering flawless technology-driven customer experiences is no easy task. Over 80 percent of consumers surveyed have encountered technical issues while shopping or dining at stores and restaurants. Kahn noted that the complexity and risks involved in creating an optimum experience can just as easily imperil customer relationships if the promise falls short.

Other key findings from the consumer survey include:

  • 63 percent compliment owners or refer locations to others after positive experiences
  • 60 percent have experienced technical glitches more than once with the same brand
  • 57 percent place a premium on having reliable digital payment options at large chains
  • 36 percent have encountered faulty Wi-Fi or incorrect information online

"These findings confirm that the digital transformation of the consumer experience is fully underway and that businesses ‒ from small, regional shops or restaurants to national, consumer-facing chains ‒ must invest in their technology to court and keep consumers," Kahn said.

To read the full report, The Digital Forward Customer Experience: New Expectations and Obstacles for Today's Storefront, visit www.goboomtown.com/digital-forward-customer-experience/. end of article

Editor's Note:

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