See it, feel it, get it: German consumers have no patience whilst shopping
Mood Media Launches New Global Study “The State of Brick & Mortar: 2017” 11,000+ consumers surveyed
German consumers would prefer to have whatever item it is they are buying in their hands immediately. Nearly three-quarters of all those surveyed (72 percent) prefer to shop in physical stores as opposed to online shopping because this way they can have the item instantly. Amongst Europeans the Germans rank first with this need (for comparison purposes: Great Britain: 69 percent, Spain: 64 percent, The Netherlands percent, France: 56 percent). These are the findings of a representative global survey by Mood Media, for which more than 2,000 consumers in Germany, and 11.000+ across the globe aged from 18 to 55-plus, were questioned. In addition to the European countries Mood Media carried out consumer interviews in Australia, Russia, China and the USA.
A branded atmosphere with attention to detail matters: The only motivation greater than that of immediate possession for the German consumer was the opportunity to touch and try the item: 73 percent of respondents stepped into a bricks-and-mortar store for this reason instead of shopping online. For women the opportunity to try an item is even more important than it is for men (78 percent versus 69 percent). Some 48 percent of all respondents liked being able to browse in a physical store and discover new things.
The biggest annoyance is queuing
The most frustrating aspect of shopping across all age groups is having to queue. Of the German respondents 59 percent stated that they found having to wait frustrating, whether at the till, for the changing room or at the fresh produce counters. Just less than half of respondents (49 percent ) were bothered by a hectic atmosphere in physical stores. The lack of certain items or sizes in the store was said to be another frustrating factor – 46 percent of shoppers found this particularly annoying.
Furthermore, 44 percent of German customers indicated the need for assistance from shop staff, which is very high compared to a global average of 33 percent. Older German respondents were significantly more annoyed by this than younger ones (28 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds versus 56 percent of the 55-plus customer group).
“Retailers should make the shopping experience as pleasurable as possible for their customers and, more importantly, should think about how they can shorten any possible waiting times in their stores,” says Volker Scharnberg, Sales Director of Mood Media Deutschland.
One way of doing this is the use of music and entertainment. Particularly younger consumers are buying the whole experience of in-store shopping. Even the use of multichannel concepts such as click & collect, which involves picking up goods at the store shortly after having ordered them online, goes some way towards addressing the customer’s need to have immediate possession, and links online and offline shopping together.
Music lifts German consumers’ mood when waitings
“Music is a very effective way of connecting with customers on an emotional level and of lifting their mood,” says Volker Scharnberg. Retailers can prevent customer dissatisfaction when shopping by using the right music. 44 percent of respondents in Germany claim they feel calmer when music is being played in-store. Moreover, it makes it easier for 73 percent German consumers to wait in line. Overall, more than three-quarters of respondents stated that they like to hear music playing when they are shopping and that they find a shopping experience with music more enjoyable (79 percent). The younger consumer group of 18 to 34-year-olds is the main group to enjoy music when shopping (91 percent). Of young customers, 59 percent feel more connected with the brand through music.
Young consumers use their smartphones in store
In the use of mobile devices whilst shopping, clear distinctions can be seen between younger and older shoppers. Whereas the older customer gets irritated by the use of smartphones while shopping, younger ones are delighted to receive special offers on their mobile phones. In the 18 to 24-year-old age group, 41 percent of consumers even describe themselves as frequent users of mobile devices when shopping. For the millennials, the 25 to 34-year-old age group, this number is 34 percent and for the 35 to 44-year-olds it is 27 percent. This use falls dramatically in the 45-year-old age group and older. In contrast to other nationalities (China: 42 percent, Russia: 12 percent, Australia: 10 percent, France: 11 percent, Spain: 27 percent, USA: 11 percent) in the German 55-plus age group only 6 percent use their smartphones when shopping for comparing prices, for instance, or to obtain product information or search for discounts and special offers.
Some 58 percent of millennials like to receive special offers and promotions on their mobile phones when in store while only 23 percent of the 55-plus age group do. Across all age groups the respondents were most interested in mobile special offers when in the supermarket (78 percent), in clothing and shoe shops (70 percent) and in electrical and electronics shops (56 percent).
Price induces the Germans to buy but the atmosphere in store also plays an important role
Germans’ impulse buys are mainly driven by price: 60 percent of respondents said that they bought on impulse because of discounts and special offers, followed by the right mood (35 percent) and in store advertising, for instance on screens, in-store messaging or flyers (6 percent).
Younger buyers in particular place a high value on a good shopping atmosphere: 59 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds would visit a store again where there if they found there was a pleasant atmosphere generated by music, scent and or digital screens. In this age group (51 percent) prefer to visit a physical shop rather than buy online if the shop offers a pleasurable atmosphere.
“Apparently many young people are looking for a shopping experience that online shopping cannot offer them,” says Volker Scharnberg from Mood Media. “The strong digital aspect to their lives awakens a desire for multidimensional sensory experiences. 59 percent of German consumers surveyed agreed that brands can create a particular mood through music, visual elements or customised services, and through this can build a long-term relationship with their customers.“