Shoppers in Europe and Asia are looking for a memorable retail experience, one that connects their in-person and online preferences while adding more value and convenience. That’s according to iVend Retail’s 2019 Global Shopper Trends Report.

The global survey asked thousands of consumers in 11 different countries about their attitudes and behaviours related to retail purchase decisions. Looking specifically at the Eurasian region responses, there are some definite trends and regional preferences when it comes to both online and in-store purchases.

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We asked 2,700 shoppers what’s most important to them.

Retail Goes Mobile

While plenty of consumers regularly research products and make purchases on their own mobile devices, the survey found that consumers also want store employees to demonstrate those same technical capabilities. According to the survey, 56.98 % of shoppers globally want store associates to have mobile devices to be able to check them out and process purchases. This capability was much more important in Turkey (65.2%) and Russia (60.8%), but not quite as important in the UK (38.8%).

Shoppers in the UK, in fact, were much more self-reliant, with 40.8% saying they didn’t seek out help from in store associates at all, regardless of whether they had a mobile device or not.

Loyalty Programs Drive Profits

One of the main findings of this year’s survey is the importance of loyalty programs, another key Eurasian shopping trend. There was a 10% increase loyalty programs being a deciding factor when shoppers choose to spend their money.

In Turkey, 98.4% of respondents say they shop with retailers to earn loyalty points/rewards, while one-third of shoppers in the UK shop with a retailer at least 50% of the time because of a loyalty program.

In all regions we surveyed, earning discounts and free items was the number-one reason for participating in loyalty programs. This also held true for Eurasian shoppers. In Turkey 84.4% of shoppers said it was the most important reason, along with 77.6% of UK shoppers and 86.4% of Russian shoppers.

Turkish shoppers preferred to manage loyalty on their phone, while in the UK and Russian they preferred to manage their rewards in person with their card.

Turkey is pro-phone across most retail interactions. When it comes to coupons, 58.4% of Turkish consumers want communications from retailers, including digital coupons, sent to an app on their phone.

Email communications reigned in the UK with an overwhelming majority (74.0%) preferring email as their delivery vehicle, as was found to be the case around the world (62.87% of all shoppers globally).

These digital offers increase revenue. More than a quarter (27%) of shoppers said they would be very likely to purchase from a retailer if they received an offer or coupon while shopping in a store.

More Shoppers Buy Online, Pickup at the Store

Worldwide there was a 30% jump in the number of shoppers using click and collect shopping, or buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) functionality.

Convenience and cost are the primary drivers when it comes to this omnichannel shopping approach. Shoppers in Russia (54%) and Turkey (56.8%) like to shop online so they can take their time deciding on a purchase. In the UK, the big motivator for click and collect is to save money, because consumers want to avoid shipping charges (47.2%).

Turkey, again, was ahead of the pack when it comes leveraging technology to make purchases, with 97.6% of Turkish shoppers using click and collect versus only 72.8% in the UK.

While shopper preferences vary across the Eurasian region, retailers will need to make strategic investments in loyalty programs, new technology, and omnichannel integration to meet the demands of shoppers in those countries.

Retailers who are marketing in Eurasia should pay attention to areas where shoppers prefer to manage their relationship and be communicated with via phone versus email, those who want click and collect to save on shipping, and to consider geolocating to deliver digital coupons when shoppers are in their store or nearby.

In addition, integrating a loyalty program is essential to retaining shoppers. Combining a loyalty program with digitally delivered coupons and offers will keep the retail brand in front of their target market, and help ensure return business by giving consumers the memorable and convenient shopping experience they are looking for.

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