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4 March 2014 | beautystorebusiness.com Marc Birenbaum Executive Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Editor's Note IBM's new study of 30,000-plus consumers worldwide released in conjunction with the 2014 National Retail Federation Convention & EXPO found that customers are will- ing to share their personal information with retailers—especially if they receive expected value in exchange. The percentage of consumers who said they're willing to provide their current location via GPS with retailers was 36%, nearly double compared to 2013. Thirty- eight percent added that they would give their mobile telephone numbers to retailers to receive text messages, and 32% added that they would let retailers know their social-media handles. "Today's consumer has been conditioned by multiple industries—from health care to travel—to expect personalized interactions across different channels," says Jill Puleri, IBM Retail Global Industry Leader. This study shows that customers are willing to share details about themselves "par- ticularly if they receive a personalized experience in return," states Puleri. While omnichannel retailing—providing customers a connected, personalized expe- rience across online, mobile and in-store channels—is a goal of many retailers, consumers aren't asking for it per se. They simply expect to be able to use their technologies in every aspect of their lives, including how they shop. The study reported the most important omnichannel capabilities to consumers as: • No. 1: A price consistency across shop- ping channels • No. 2: An ability to ship items out of stock in-store directly to their homes • No. 3: An option to track the status of an order • No. 4: A consistent product assortment across channels • No. 5: An ability to return online pur- chases in-store Consumers fall into four distinct groups differentiated by their interest in/use of location, mobile and social technologies while shopping, the study noted. Nineteen percent surveyed lag behind the majority of the population in using location, mobile and social technologies to shop. Forty per- cent use such technologies for information gathering, but aren't likely to use them to purchase products. Twenty-nine percent use location, mobile and social much more extensively—for everything from researching products to ordering goods. Twelve percent are classified as trailblazers. They use these technologies across channels and base their choice of retailers on whether those busi- nesses are making that possible. In addition, the study came to the conclu- sions that while consumers are increasingly shopping online, showrooming—browsing goods at a store, but ultimately buying them online—is, surprisingly, not behind this online growth, nor is it a top threat these days. While slightly more respon- dents showroomed in this year's results (8%, versus 6% in 2013), only about 30% of all online purchases actually resulted from showrooming—a drop from nearly 50% last year! Seventy percent of online purchases were made by shoppers who went directly to the Web. ■ The No. 1 omnichannel capability to consumers? Price consistency across shopping channels. Consumers Will Share Details If … E d i t o r ' s N o t e 0 3 1 4 . i n d d 4 Editor's Note 0314.indd 4 2 / 3 / 1 4 2 : 3 5 P M 2/3/14 2:35 PM