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With Mobile Devices In Hand, Consumers Visit Stores To Compare Prices But Nearly Half Make Their Final Purchases Online, Accenture Survey Shows

Nearly three out of four (72 percent) of consumers aged 20-40 in the United States and the United Kingdom use mobile devices while in-store to compare prices, but the majority leave before making a purchase, according to a study by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) Interactive. The research also shows that while consumers in this age group are concerned about online privacy, they will permit retailers to track their shopping behavior to personalize their shopping experience.

More than half (52 percent) of the 2,000 consumers surveyed in each country believe that in-store prices are higher than online prices. While 60 percent say that online prices entice them to visit a store where they can compare prices and view merchandise up close, 48 percent still go home to buy the products from that retailer online, but 32 percent buy products online from a different retailer. Only 20 percent make their final purchase in-store.

“The showrooming trend can pose a threat to retailers, given that nearly a third of our respondents make their final online purchases with other stores,” said Baiju Shah, managing director of strategy and innovation for Accenture Interactive. “But consumers don’t want to shop online exclusively and our work with retailers shows that physical stores don’t have to compete on price alone but rather focus on the whole experience. Retailers need to create a seamless, multi-channel experience that blends the digital and physical, and delivers convenience, price and relevance.”

Personalization outweighs privacy concerns

The survey shows that the consumers surveyed by Accenture Interactive are extremely interested in having a more personalized shopping experience, despite their concern for privacy protection. Sixty-four percent say they would be receptive to receiving text messages when visiting a store informing them of offers that match their past shopping interests, and 60 percent strongly agree that it is acceptable to receive advertisements on their smartphone if they opt into them.

Despite the fact that 86 percent of those surveyed say they are concerned about websites tracking their online shopping behavior, 85 percent are aware that such tracking goes on but they understand that tracking enables companies to present offers and content that matches their interests. Nearly half of the respondents – 49 percent – are receptive to their favorite stores or brands using their tracking data to inform their future purchases and make them aware of product availability.

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