Seven in Ten Americans Want Retailers to Enhance the In-Store Shopping Experience, SapientNitro Survey Reveals

  Seven in Ten Americans Want Retailers to Enhance the In-Store Shopping
  Experience, SapientNitro Survey Reveals

   -- Majority Turn to Showrooming and Digital Devices to Navigate Expanded
               Buying Options and Deals this Holiday Season --

-- 70% Like the Extended Cyber Week, but 62% Feel “It’s Wrong” that Stores are
                      Opening Earlier on Thanksgiving --

Business Wire

BOSTON -- December 19, 2012

Even as retailers have expanded purchase options and welcomed digital shoppers
into stores this holiday season, most Americans believe that retailers could
do more to enhance the in-store shopping experience, according to a
just-released national poll conducted by GfK Roper in conjunction with
SapientNitro, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE).

Seven in ten (70%) Americans agree that “retailers could do more to enhance
the in-store shopping experience.” Highly valued enticements include:

  *The ability to buy products in-store but have them shipped to home for
    free (79%)
  *Free Wi-Fi (63%)
  *Interactive displays or kiosks that provide additional information or
    recommendations about a product (57%)
  *Exclusive in-store mobile offers (56%).

Among smartphone users, a majority would also like:

  *To view store circulars/flyers on their phone (67%),
  *In-store navigation smartphone apps (59%), and
  *The option for mobile payment or to check out by scanning their mobile
    phone (59%).

“Many of our retail clients are redefining their in-store shopping experience
to reach today’s connected consumer,” said Chris Davey, global head of
commerce at SapientNitro. “The 2012 holiday shopping season marked a
fundamental shift in which retailers not only recognized but accommodated
digital shoppers in the in-store experience. From investing in GPS-enabled
store maps or updating mobile shopping apps for smartphones and tablets,
retailers placed big bets on today’s ‘always-on’ shopper and both parties won.
Their efforts made holiday shopping easier but have raised consumer
expectations for more.”

Many Turn to Showrooming, Blend Online/Offline Behaviors

While embracing digital in their lives, respondents want to preserve their
family time too. The majority of Americans (62%) feel it is wrong that stores
are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day just to get a jump on
Black Friday sales.

The American tradition of holiday shopping is alive and well, but Americans
are using brick and mortar locations in different ways. A majority of digital
users (51%) report “showrooming,” that is using retail stores to browse
products, all the while planning to buy a product later online.

Just this holiday season:

  *One third (33%) of digital users say they have first gone into a store
    just to look at an item, with the idea of buying it later online.
  *Four in 10 Americans, up from 33% last year, say they purchased a product
    in a physical retail store after researching the product online.
  *27% say they purchased a product online after shopping for a similar item
    in a physical store.

The overall trend in online shopping continues to rise, with four in ten
digital users (41%) saying that, compared to last year, they have shopped more
online and less at physical retail stores this year. The biggest reason is the
convenience of shopping when they want, with 44% saying this was their biggest
motivator. Close to half of 18-24 year old digital users (48%) report shopping
more online and less at physical stores this year. Parents appreciate the
convenience too. One respondent noted, “I just asked my daughter to give me a
list of what she wanted and she included links, so I went online and it was
much easier than going to the store.”

Digital Devices Help Consumers Navigate Deal Volume

One quarter (24%) of Americans feel like there have been more deals offered
this holiday season. An increasing number are using their digital devices to
help them navigate and find the best bargains, with four in ten (43%) saying
that, compared to last holiday shopping season, they are relying more on their
smartphone, tablet, or computer. This is particularly true of 18-24 year old
digital users, 59% of whom agree with the statement. As one respondent noted:
“I bought a lot more gifts on my iPad than I did last year, just because it
was convenient. I could do it wherever I was, I didn’t have to be at my desk,
I could be watching TV, or in bed or wherever…”

While there were more deals to be had, the number of options available this
holiday season made finding the best deal more cumbersome for some. Even among
smartphone users, four in ten report “feeling overwhelmed the past few weeks
with so many holiday shopping deals offered by email, newspapers, in stores,
etc.” At the same time, seven in ten Americans like the fact that many Cyber
Monday sales are now being extended into Cyber Week.

To aid in their navigation, savvy smartphone owners report putting digital
devices to use at a higher rate this year across a wide variety of shopping
behaviors. The biggest increases in use from the 2011 post-Thanksgiving
holiday season include smartphone users reporting digital device use in the
following ways:

  *Researched and browsed for products  (82%, up from 67% in 2011)
  *Bought something (74%, up from 55%)
  *Used an email offer from a retailer (62%, up from 45%)
  *Used a consumer rating site to help them decide to buy a product (56%, up
    from 40%)
  *Used a mobile coupon (33%, up from 18%)

Areas to Watch

SapientNitro has identified a number of rising shopper trends to watch over
the coming holiday seasons. According to the poll, among consumers who have
smartphones:

  *35% used their GPS/location feature on their phone to help with holiday
    shopping (vs 31% in 2011)
  *27% used a QR code to find more information about a product (vs 19% in
    2011)
  *9% used a Black Friday or Cyber Monday mobile app
  *7% have purchased something on their tablet

“One area we think will be transforming the retail landscape is mobile
payments,” continued Davey. “With nearly six in 10 smartphone users in our
survey reporting that they’d like to see retailers offer mobile payment
options, the industry must align quickly. As competing cloud-based and NFC
models are sorted out and stores install the required technology, we see
mobile payments as the big shift next holiday season and beyond.”

Supplementary Survey Materials

Data graphs and pull quotes are available for download:
www.slideshare.net/sapient.

Companion video interviews of holiday shoppers can be viewed at:
www.youtube.com/sapientnitro.

The dialogue continues on Twitter #howishop.

Note to journalists: survey data available upon request. Email: David LaBar at
dlabar@sapient.com.

How the poll was conducted

The third annual SapientNitro Holiday Shopping Poll was conducted December 14
- 16, 2012, by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications – a
division of GfK Custom Research North America on behalf of SapientNitro, named
a leading digital marketing agency and provider of commerce services by
analyst firms, Gartner and Forrester Research.  This telephone poll is based
on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,007 general population
adults age 18 or older reached on landline telephones. The margin of sampling
error is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for
results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error is
higher and varies for results based on sub-samples.

About GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications

GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, a division of GfK Custom
Research North America. Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research North
America is a part of The GfK Group, one of the world’s largest research
companies, with more than 11,000 experts working to discover new insights
about the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day.
With home offices in Nuremberg, Germany, The GfK Group is the No. 4 market
research organization worldwide. Its activities cover two main core business
divisions: Consumer Choices and Consumer Experiences.

About SapientNitro

SapientNitro^SM, part of Sapient®, is an integrated marketing and technology
services firm. We create and engineer highly relevant experiences that
accelerate business growth and fuel brand advocacy for our clients. By
combining multi-channel marketing, multi-channel commerce, and the technology
that binds them, we influence customer behavior across the spectrum of
content, communication and commerce channels, resulting in deeper, more
meaningful relationships between customers and brands. SapientNitro services
global leaders such as Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Foot Locker, Lufthasna,
Target, and Vodafone through our operations in North America, Europe, and
Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.sapientnitro.com or follow us on
Twitter @sapientnitro.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20121219006472/en/

Multimedia
Available:http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50513516&lang=en

Contact:

Sapient
David LaBar, 646-456-4505
dlabar@sapient.com
or
Middleberg Communications
Rachel Honig, 646-322-1242
rhonig@middlebergcommunications.com
 
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