EY: The physical store remains important to many consumers, despite increasing digitization

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Although the adoption of digital technology is progressing at a dizzying pace – especially after national lockdowns – EY research, Decoding the digital home, reveals that the physical store remains a critical element of the consumer experience of digital home appliance users. 39% of those surveyed would prefer to visit a retail store when buying a mobile device or digital services package, up from 41% for smart home purchases.

The survey – which records the views of more than 18,000 households in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States – also found that the traditional call center dominated the preferences among alternative customer support channels, despite the systematic display of the benefits of digital tools, such as chatbots. Telephone communication with a representative remains the preferred option for customer inquiries regarding broadband (54%) and mobile (52%) issues. 42% of consumers prefer call centers because they think they can not clearly describe the problem they face without contacting a representative by phone, while 45% believe that digital instant messaging platforms are not suitable for handling complex queries. .

Limited understanding of digital home services

The level of consumer awareness of the latest products and services is remarkably low, according to the survey. Less than half (42%) of household members understand the features of smart home products, while only 37% realize the benefits of mobile devices with 5G capabilities. Nearly a third (32%) also find it very difficult to understand communication services, while 36% find it difficult to understand the differences between the services offered by different broadband providers. It is typical that users aged 45-54 years have less problems in understanding these services (29%), compared to 36% of people aged 18-24 years.

The various frustrations undermine the positive consumer experience

The range of different devices, services and platforms confuses consumers about content choices – again, especially among newer solar panels. 39% of people aged 18-24 find it difficult to locate their favorite content, such as movies and TV shows.

At the same time, 36% of respondents say they do not feel confident when turning on a smart device, while 27% agree that the operation and management of television applications is complicated. Browsing the websites of digital service providers is also a problem for many users: 20% find it difficult to navigate the website or the mobile phone provider application, while 23% find it difficult to browse the website or application of the broadband provider. For young people aged 18-24, this percentage increases to 31% and 30% respectively.

Commenting on the findings of the research, Mr. George Apostolakis, Partner in the Department of Consulting Services and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications of the Hellenic Post, said: “The speed with which digital technology is advancing has created significant gaps in information and understanding between At the same time, despite the increased penetration of online shopping, many consumers still recognize significant advantages in physical stores and service through traditional call centers, for issues In order to grow dynamically, companies in the industry and the various providers will need to make these new tools and products easier to use, more diversified and more understandable, in order to gain the trust and confidence of consumer loyalty “.


Source From: Capital

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