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79% of international shoppers want an in-store experience

Consumers see shopping as a social activity and, whilst online has an important role to play in the research and selection process, most shoppers still like to see and feel and get the product instantly.

In the comprehensive study CBRE surveyed 32,000 consumers across 32 countries to understand the consumer shopping journey and the channels available and most frequently used.

75% of consumers globally look for specific items online and are increasingly ‘connected’ - often interacting with retailers and other consumers to research and purchase products, and an increasing number, 42 %, are using social networking sites for product feedback.

30% of global consumers use their mobile phones to compare prices and product details, this is particularly evident of Asia Pacific consumers, and in addition 49% of consumers in China use a smartphone for to purchase products. Consumers also buy online and collect products in-store on average every three weeks – presenting retailers with great cross selling opportunities as other purchases are usually made while picking up from stores.

Dr Nick Axford, Global Head of Research at CBRE commented: “As the relationship between the physical store and the online world becomes increasingly complex, landlords and retailers face two key challenges. The first is the ongoing need to offer great service, outstanding product ranges and value added services to customers.

Secondly they should also be looking at relevant ways to capitalise on trends in digital technology and social media. The key being to make the shopping experience more enjoyable but also as seamless as possible. Technology needs to be an enabler not a barrier. The way in which landlords and retailers work together to capitalise on the growing demand for click and collect increasingly looks like the key issue in making true Omnichannel retailing a reality”

Andrew Phipps, Head of EMEA Retail Research and Consulting, CBRE, added: “The role of the physical store is in many ways more important than ever, it is the essence of the retail brand and should be viewed as the most important element of the overall proposition. Technology and online should be used to get the retail offer to as broad a customer profile as possible but should not be allowed or viewed as a way to change the overall proposition.”
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