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March 25, 2015

Shopping without borders: mobile retail goes global

Oracle research reveals customers want markets without borders.

By Alexander Sword

A global consumer survey by Oracle has found that consumers are increasingly demanding a more technology-driven and global shopping experience.

The study with Redshift Research found that 83 percent of respondents wanted retailers to invest in technology, while 57 percent of these said that converging digital and traditional shopping experiences was key. For Chinese and German respondents, this figure rose to 78 and 70 percent respectively.

A demand for transparency through technology, including stock availability and product information, outstripped other consumer requirements in the survey; 70 percent believed it was the most important for adding value to an experience. 59 percent felt access to product information across digital channels or in-store was important.

The survey also showed that mobile was the fastest growing method of shopping, with 67 percent stating they use smartphones to enhance the shopping experiences compared to 26 percent in last year’s survey.

Attitudes to privacy had also changed, with 56 percent of consumers saying they recognised that giving retailers personal information could lead to better shopping experiences. This was reflected by 23 percent saying that they were happy to download apps allowing retailers to track their in-store and online movements. However, 55 percent had reservations about giving up this information.

The shopping experience was also revealed to be an increasingly global one, with 56 percent having bought goods from an offshore international retailer. This number fell in the UK, Japan and the US to 43 percent, 41 percent and 39 percent respectively. 67 percent did this to obtain a better price, while 43 percent did so because a product or brand was not available locally.

Finally, the online market continues to boom, although in-store remained the most popular way to obtain goods with 44 percent of respondents. Buying goods online and having them delivered home followed at 34 percent. The click-and-collect market was less popular, attracting eight percent of responses.

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"With a revised concept of service in mind, it is important that retailers invest in strategies to promote consumer engagement across all channels and touch points," the report argued.

"Consumers are enjoying an expanding global marketplace, and they are shopping it with the nearest mobile device," said Jill Puleri, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. "As retailers embrace this new global, mobile consumer they must also maintain profitability and lay the foundation for ongoing change."

"The consumer is driving the agenda, Oracle is in a unique position to support the new fundamentals of converged retail – right product, right place, right time, right price – anywhere," said Puleri.

The research surveyed 5,000 consumers in ten countries in January 2015. This comprised 500 male and female adult consumers from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA.

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