Making the Digital Connection: Why Physical Retail Stores Need a Reboot

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Shopping in physical stores offers consumers something unique and valuable compared to the digital domain: a social experience and a tactile experience. But, our latest research shows that shoppers are now seeing less value and pleasure in this core element of the physical retail experience. Our global survey – spanning 6,000 consumers and 500 retailers – found that one-third of consumers would rather clean dishes than visit a retail store. 
 
A key reason for this declining value is that consumers now expect a physical user experience that replicates what they find online, from expecting goods to be in stock to being able to choose from multiple delivery options. Consumers wish to use technology to help them engage with the store at every step of the shopping journey. 
 
Unfortunately, these new expectations are not being met, and as a result consumer satisfaction for retailers is worryingly low. 
 
The winners of the future will be those that are transforming the customer experience through new technologies, digitizing operations, and putting in place the right people capabilities. In this report, we provide a framework for retailers to diagnose where they are in terms of becoming a Digital Leader and the strategic priorities for ensuring they do not just match fast-changing consumer expectations, but have the agility and vision to stay ahead of what consumers want from the physical store.