Daily Newsletter

10 January 2024

Daily Newsletter

10 January 2024

New year same retail: global consumers remain dissatisfied

A new report indicates the ever-widening gap between shoppers' expectations and the current retail offering.

Claire Jenns January 09 2024

Consumer surveys throughout 2023 highlighted issues with customer service and technology use which will continue well into 2024 if retailers remain inactive on improvement.

In a global study from the Institute for Business Value, 20,000 consumers expressed dissatisfaction with retail. Only 9% of those surveyed say they are content with their in-store experience, and 14% with online shopping.

Despite a preference for physical stores by 73% of those surveyed, consumers surveyed want a greater variety of products available (37%), more information about products (26%), and faster in-store checkout (26%).

Most consumers surveyed (65%) are supplementing their in-store experience by using mobile apps while shopping. This demonstrates a trend toward a digitally integrated in-store experience.

Retail AI and global consumers

Online retail is not flawless, however. Two-thirds of consumers surveyed discover new products via the web, yet many expressed dissatisfaction with their online shopping journey, citing challenges finding the products they want (36%), insufficient information about products (33%) and cumbersome return processes (33%).

The retail industry also continues to incorporate the ever-improving capabilities of AI and consumers are taking notice.

IBM's survey shows a strong interest in using AI to enhance shopping experiences. Most consumers (59%) said they would like to use AI applications as they shop and 4 in 5 consumers who haven't used the technology for shopping reported an interest in trying it.

Yet there remains a stark satisfaction gap for current AI assistant users surveyed. Only one-third of responding consumers who have used virtual assistants are satisfied with the experience and 20% were so disappointed that they don't want to use virtual assistants again.

This signals a mismatch between current tech offerings and shoppers’ expectations.

As 2024 begins, retailers must allocate sufficient attention and budget to improving all customer-facing channels to maintain a loyal customer base that will protect them from economic headwinds.

Top Themes in Retail and Apparel in 2024

While AI has been used by retailers for some time for tasks such as inventory management and forecasting, GlobalData expects its implementation to accelerate in the coming years, especially in areas such as personalized marketing, customer service, price optimization and supply chain management.

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