Mood Media Launches New Global Study
“The State of Brick & Mortar: 2017”
11,000+ consumers surveyed in 9 countries across 4 continents, revealing evolving in-store shopping behaviours and influences
SYDNEY, Australia. June 20, 2017 – Mood Media, the global leader in elevating customer experiences, today launched its new global study, “The State of Brick & Mortar: 2017,” which reveals consumer insights around the importance of in-store Customer Experience as well as in-store shopping behaviours. This unprecedented quantitative study is based on a survey of more than 11,000 consumers in nine countries across the globe, including Australia, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The survey was undertaken by YouGov on behalf of Mood in order to better understand what influences consumers’ decisions to choose brick and mortar over online shopping, what they most enjoy and don’t about the in-store experience and what most motivates them in the physical store. The study also explores the influence of a store’s atmosphere – including music – on the overall shopping experience as well as how consumers are using their mobile devices while shopping.
“Consumers are increasingly comfortable shopping in an omnichannel world, yet there are still key differences that steer shoppers toward one channel over another at times,” said Valentina Candeloro, Marketing Director International for Mood Media. “The tangible, tactile nature of bricks and mortar is still viewed as a very real advantage, as is the desire for instant gratification. Furthermore, shopping as a form of entertainment remains important to many people around the world.”
“Consumers – particularly younger consumers – aren’t just buying a product when in-store; they’re buying an experience. And their expectations for a positive, emotionally engaging experience are quite high. Those businesses who deliver an elevated Customer Experience witness greater repeat visits, a greater number of recommendations and longer in-store dwell times.”
Some select highlights from the study include:
- Consumers greatly value the tactile nature of offline shopping:
78% of global consumers cite “the ability to touch, feel and try products” as their number one reason for shopping in brick & mortar. Such sensory stimulation is particularly valued in China and the UK, with more than 8 in 10 citing it as their top reason for shopping-in-store.
“With modern technology taking over our everyday lives, consumers are craving sensorial experiences and still value highly the stimulation provided by seeing, hearing, touching or smelling, in life as in stores.” says Candeloro.
- In-Store Frustrations Remain:
Despite traditionally being considered a very British problem, waiting in line actually represents the most frustrating aspect of in-store shopping for consumers worldwide (60%).
Items or sizes being out of stock was the second most common frustration (50%), particularly among younger shoppers, with a too busy and hectic atmosphere following as third top irritant (47%).
- Music is a crucial ingredient:
Music appears to provide quite the tonic for in-store frustrations, with eight out of ten people globally finding waiting times to be less dull when music is playing. This figure rises to over nine out of ten people in China.
Music proves particularly influential in the in-store experience, with over 80% of respondents asserting that music makes their shopping experience more enjoyable and lifts their mood.
Shoppers most influenced by music while shopping are those in China, the USA, Australia and Netherlands, with over 90% of consumers from each country registering positive emotions.
Music can have a real impact on shoppers’ mood, with 90% of consumers experiencing positive feelings when the right music is playing in a store. Positive feelings include feeling welcome, relaxed and inspired.
Countries that describe feeling particularly happy when their favourite tunes are played are Britain (43%) and Australia (49%) while consumers from the Netherlands feel that music is most important in providing a sociable atmosphere (62%).
- The right music creates a deeper connection with the brand
Two thirds of those globally surveyed assert that they feel more connected to brands that play the right music. The majority is composed of the youngest generation, which often appear the hardest to engage, while Baby Boomers are the least likely to feel connected to a brand that plays the right music, despite often being considered as the most loyal customers.
Overall, Baby Boomers (55 plus) in China, UK and US experience more positive feelings than other generations when the right music is playing in a shop. Similarly, Millennials (25-34 years old in our research) from these three countries also seem to agree, with most of them feeling happy when hearing the right music.
- Silence is the sound of a missed opportunity
The research finds that there is a direct correlation between the absence of music and negative feeling for consumers, with more than half of respondents globally claiming to feel uncomfortable, angry or depressed when there is no music playing in a shop.
This figure rises dramatically for French shoppers with 80% citing feelings of negativity in silent stores.
The impact on both US and Russian consumers is equally marked, with one third of Americans and nearly half of Russians going as far as to say that they feel disengaged with stores that play no music.
- Atmosphere matters
When music is partnered with visuals and scent to create a bespoke in-store atmosphere, 61% of global consumers say they’re more likely to “revisit” (71% of those aged 18-24), and 52% say they’re more likely to “recommend the place to others” (61% of those aged 18-24). Furthermore, 61% of 18-24 year olds cited an enjoyable, branded in-store atmosphere would make them more likely to “stay [and shop] in store for longer”.
In nearly all instances across the world, those aged 18-24 rate the “atmosphere and experience” to be more important than any other age group, with one in three citing it is as the top reason to choose in-store over shopping online. The only country which doesn’t follow this trend is China – where almost 1 in 2 consumers aged 35-44 cite this as being the key reason for their in-store shopping.
- Most impulse buys aren’t triggered by accident
When it comes to making unplanned purchases, 60% of global consumers across all ages cite that “discount and promotions” most influence their impulse purchases, with women being slightly more sensitive to this leverage.
Spain leads the ranking in their response to discounts and promotions with 72% of respondents citing it as the number one influence factor.
A third of consumers cite “feeling in the right mood” as their top driver, with younger generations being more influenced by the store atmosphere than older ones and France being the lead country to be driven by their mood for unplanned shopping (39%).
- Consumers want to be a part of the in-store experience
According to the study, more than three quarters of Generation Z (18-24 years old in our research) consumers from across the globe assert that they would like the opportunity to influence music played in store.
Of the European countries surveyed, the Spanish are the most enthused about the possibility of being able to influence instore music (43% across all age groups).
Linda Ralph, VP Business Development International at Mood Media says: “We’ve seen the benefit of giving consumers the opportunity to influence the music played within the retail space through our ‘Social Mix’ innovation. This technology gives customers the ability to vote for the songs they would like to be played in-store while they are shopping, which has seen an increase in the amount of time consumers spend in store.”
Social Mix has been recently introduced in 20 Mango stores in Spain. The Spanish multinational is the first fashion brand in Europe to offer this unique musical experience in its points of sale.
- Mobile devices are increasingly used as shopping tools
Mood’s research uncovers an increasing worldwide demand for interactive technology to be incorporated into the in-store experience, with more than half of people surveyed enthused by the possibility of being able to receive redeemable promotions on their mobile phones while in store.
This is particularly true of Chinese consumers, with 85% interested in such mobile offers and over 90% already using their phone in-store. However, this is less important in both France and Germany, where nearly 3 in 5 suggest that they would not be interested in receiving these promotions.
“Chinese consumers are extremely mobile-oriented, one obvious example being their use of WeChat – the most popular Chinese all-in-one mobile messaging platform, with over 889 million users worldwide. This enables retailers to create their own official accounts and engage directly with their consumers with news, games contests and direct messaging”, says Linda Ralph.
“It’s has long been the case that retail brands have identified the growing spending power of the Asian consumer and their increasing appetite for shopping the latest trends, both in their local markets but also outside from increased tourism. Our study identifies some of the key influencers that will help retailers truly engage this exciting consumer group”.
The widespread introduction of mobile promotions would be good news also for consumers in the UK, with bargain-hunting Brits topping the global poll for using their mobile phones to see whether they can find products for a cheaper price elsewhere.
In comparison, shoppers from the Netherlands are most likely to use their mobile to scour social media, while Spaniards use their phones to ask for advice from family and friends.
The use of mobile varies amongst generations. While Generation Z and Millennials often use their phone while shopping to check their social media platforms, Baby Boomers only use it sporadically – primarily to get advice from their friends.
Conversely, the trend is reversed in China, where Baby Boomers are more likely to use their mobile in store to check their social media platforms than Generation Z and Millennials.
When asked what type of stores they would like to receive redeemable mobile promotions from, Baby Boomers, Generation X (35-54 years old) and Millennials from most countries select supermarkets and grocery, while the youngest generation select clothing and footwear. On the other end of the scale, offers from banking/financial institutes represent the least interesting opportunities from all age groups, especially in the UK and US.
While digital may well be on the rise, this report unmistakably provides evidence that, on a global scale, consumer’s preferences for the in-store experience are influenced by the sensory experiences on offer. Although cultural differences may endure, the demands from consumers appears to follow a global trend – with retailers having a powerful means in their hands to help them keep their customers in-store, rather than online.
To download the booklet to view more comprehensive study results, including more comparisons with other countries’ findings, click here.
Mood Media is the global leader in elevating customer experiences. Through the right combination of sight, sound, scent, systems and social mobile technologies, Mood’s solutions reach more than 150 million consumers a day.
With more than 500,000 active client locations around the globe, they consult and serve more than 850 businesses of all sizes and market sectors, from the world’s most recognised retailers and hotels to quick-service restaurants and thousands of small businesses.
For more information, visit moodmedia.com.au