German consumers demand from the retail trade: Purchasing should be quick, delivery prompt and sustainable. These trends are shown in the analysis “Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019” by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

How must retailers position themselves in the future in order to remain attractive to consumers? To find out, PwC surveyed over 21,000 people worldwide. These included 1,000 German consumers. The results provide valuable suggestions for online and stationary retailers. According to the study, physical transactions have a different meaning for consumers today than they did a few years ago. Customers used to expect a large selection of products. Today, they see physical stores as places where they can experience products and brands and take advantage of additional services. Consumers want to be able to orient themselves quickly and comfortably (18 percent) when shopping in a store. They want sales staff who know the product range very well (14 percent) and expect uncomplicated payment methods (eleven percent).

Stationary shops are more likely to be meeting points than complete product ranges for consumers

This paradigm shift also has an impact on product range design. Dr. Christian Wulff, Head of Retail and Consumer Goods at PwC Germany: “The stationary business will continue to be one of the most important pillars of customer loyalty in retail in 2025. However, it will continue to develop – into a social meeting point and showroom, where not all possible articles in every size and variant need to be in stock at all times.” According to the survey, a good half of consumers would order a product online if it were not available in the store. The experts recommend keeping changing cubicles. On the one hand, this allows customers to choose the right size. On the other hand, the cabins help to reduce the number of returns, which is large and very expensive for retailers. Digital options are important to provide consumers with the best possible shopping experience. Possible options include an app for shop navigation, digital price tags, augmented reality in the changing room or mobile payment.

Ever shorter shopping times require rapid checkout

In general, the local payment process is an important topic. According to the analysis, so-called microtrips are becoming more and more common. These short purchases take less than five minutes. Five percent of European consumers make such lightning purchases more often than once a day. For 18 percent it is once a day and for 30 percent it is two to three times a week. This makes it all the more important that the payment process is uncomplicated. Also in demand are self-check-outs, which 60 percent of Germans would use, as well as advertisements for the estimated waiting time. “In the long term, physical check-outs will disappear completely from the retail trade,” Wulff estimates. In the study, his company also examined the wishes of consumers when shopping online. 41 percent of Germans shop online once a month, 29 percent weekly. For European consumers, fast delivery times and free returns are the most important criteria.

Many consumers expect free delivery for online shopping

Most consumers find it crucial to get the product as quickly as possible. Many also want to know the exact delivery date at the time of ordering. As a standard for an online order, free delivery is expected. With 23 per cent scarcely a quarter of the European consumers is in principle not ready to pay for the dispatch. 42 percent of consumers willing to pay expect fast delivery on the same or next day for the delivery fee. Consumers are also attaching increasing importance to sustainability when it comes to deliveries. They would be prepared to pay an extra 2.34 euros for an environmentally friendly delivery. Wulff: “Retailers must find ways to reduce the number of parcels sent and develop innovative forms of delivery. Drones and delivery robots will certainly play an important role in the long term, but in the short term it is important to develop concepts for the city of the future that will enable high delivery volumes and short delivery times in an environmentally friendly way.

 

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Link: The auditing and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has analysed the purchasing wishes of consumers.

Picture: pixabay

//KH