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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Glenn Rossman, Janakiram MSV, Steven Mandel

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Get ready for Omni-shoppers but make sure it’s personal

Retailers must prepare for next generation of shoppers and cater to the need for personalisation to succeed

London, United Kingdom, 25th February: Symphony EYC, a global leader in customer driven retailing software and services, today reveals the grocery shopping patterns of tomorrow and how retailers must adapt to them to succeed. According to a survey of 1,000 shoppers, personalised offers, speed and ease of shopping are most important, with 50% of the sample saying that personalised promotions make their life easier, 37% rating speed as the main benefit of shopping online and 55% of mobile shoppers admitting that they shop on their phones to make life less stressful. These statistics highlight just a few of the changes which the shoppers of tomorrow [omni-shoppers] are demanding and the adaptations which retailers must make if they are to thrive.

"UK shoppers are undergoing a fundamental transformation," said Mark Croxton, Head of Global Customer Support, Symphony EYC. "Most are still rooted in traditional shopping and online purchasing with home delivery for their grocery goods, with 67% and 63% rating these forms of shopping as highly important, but other forms are growing in popularity. For example, with a focus on convenience the slow uptake of 'click and collect' in the UK [20%] shows shoppers aren't seeing a clear benefit from this option. Compare this to France, where the 'Drive' concept has taken off and 35% rate this as important, vs. 36% traditional shopping and it is clear there's an opportunity to attract the time-hungry shopper."

The survey also highlighted the importance of price, with 54% of shoppers keen to use mobile devices to compare prices in-store. This trend was particularly pronounced with younger shoppers, with 75% of 18-24s rating this as important, compared to 37% of over 65s. The UK public also showed a need for interaction and individual recognition from retailers, with three quarters [74%] saying that they would like the ability to request that retailers stock different products. However, shoppers also wanted these to be bespoke to their own shopping preferences, with 47% of the population wanting to be recognised as a regular shopper.

"Shoppers want different things when they listen and when they speak to retailers, which presents a challenge and an opportunity. According to the survey, when shoppers talk to retailers, they want to give feedback on stock and products that they don't have [74%]," continued Croxton. "But they also want to hear about how to navigate around the store [31%] and receive offers which are personalised to them [40%] via their mobiles in the future."

"There is still time to prepare and get these technologies and delivery methods ready - only 34% of shoppers said that they'd switch retailers if one gave them the ability to influence stock; this is significantly lower than in the US or continental Europe," concluded Croxton. "Although retailers should be looking to the future, there's still a clear need to get the basics right, with 62% of shoppers ranking out of stock items as a key frustration. As shoppers become increasingly savvy, shopping behaviours varying widely between food and non-food items, and with non-food shopping growing in importance within supermarkets, the need for intelligent systems to help retailers understand and make the most of these trends has never been greater."

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About Symphony EYC
Symphony EYC is a global leader in customer driven software and services that helps retailers, distributors and manufacturers address the challenges of rapid changes in shopper behavior and expectations. Symphony EYC's solutions build customer trust, retention, and development through accurate, relevant, and on time analytics, marketing, merchandising, store operations, and supply fulfillment. Founded by the 2012 merger of Aldata and EYC, Symphony EYC offers in-depth market and customer insight and in-store execution to the world's largest retail and consumer brands, national wholesale and distribution organizations, and regional store chains. More at www.eyc.com and follow us on twitter @symphonyeyc

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