Shoppers

It comes as no surprise that consumer behavior is deeply affected by the shopping experience, but new research from Accenture suggests that dissatisfying customer experiences can lead to overall avoidance of a retailer or brand and even a willingness from consumers to pay more for the guarantee of a good one.

In a survey of more than 20,000 consumers across North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa, Accenture found nearly half of overall consumers would pay more for an experience that exceeds expectations. Though 42 percent reflected they had been “frustrated” about their most recent shopping experience, saying it had not met expectations.

“Despite digital technologies fueling an explosion in opportunities to engage and interact with consumers throughout their browsing and shopping experience, many retailers and brands still struggle to deliver a seamless experience across the integrated marketplace,” said Laura Gurski, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Consumer Goods and Services practice.

Though while consumers are disassociating with retailers delivering poor experiences, they are also willing to reward retailers providing positive experiences. Nearly half of consumers told Accenture they are even willing to pay more when an experience exceeds expectations every time.

Accenture points out notable geographical variations to this finding, seeing that among all respondents those in China were the “most likely to say that they’re willing to pay more for an experience that exceeds their expectations.” In contrast, respondents in both the U.S. and U.K. were the “least likely to say they’d pay more for an experience.”

“Meeting or exceeding expectations calls for a complete rethink, all the way from developing new concepts through manufacturing to the store shelf and beyond,” Gurski said. “And with so many consumers willing to pay more for an experience that exceeds expectations, there’s a potential pot of gold for those that get it right.”

Further, frustrated customers were nearly twice as likely as satisfied consumers to “say they’d be willing to pay more for such an experience.” And the company “surprisingly” found that overall frustrated consumers are much more likely than satisfied consumers to “say they’d be willing to pay more for an experience.”

“We are in a day and age when loyalty needs to be rethought and rewarded with fresh tactics,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Retail practice. “By replacing traditional points-based programs with responsible, mobile-enabled, customer-focused concepts retailers and consumer goods brands can strike a new kind of value bargain with these customers: a hyper-convenient personalized digital experience in return for new insights into consumer preferences and behavior.”

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