The Retailer’s Dilemma: Selling to the ‘Smarter’ Shopper

MasterCard #OmnishopperGuide finds consumers researching online more, shopping at fewer stores as technology becomes ubiquitous


ROME – 9 September 2015 – Technology now touches nearly every retail transaction, creating a vastly different shopping experience for retailers and consumers alike, according to a report released today by MasterCard. Eight out of ten global shoppers’ purchase decisions are now informed by a digital device, with consumers saying they are smarter shoppers and getting more value than before. However, though in-store sales still account for more than nine-tenths of all retail spending, the result is a more focused in-store shopper buying from a narrower list of unique stores than in years past.

“Getting smart about smart shoppers is paramount to a retailer’s success, yet shoppers consistently report they’re frustrated that retailers don’t get it,” says Mathieu Loury, senior vice president of Merchant Solutions for MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard. “The good news is that the solutions exist to both analyze and answer these expectations—meeting your omnishoppers every step of their empowered journey, and creating an ecosystem that propels them forward.”  The MasterCard Retail CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper combines survey data from thousands of shoppers around the globe with transaction-based insights from MasterCard. Key findings include:

  • Technology Use in Shopping is Almost Universal: Eighty percent of consumers report using technology during the shopping process, such as smartphone apps for price checks, “click and collect” services to buy online and pick up in-store, and in-store technology to research or order a product. In addition, six out of ten are doing more research online today than two years ago.
  • Brick and Mortar Stands Strong: The omnishopper chooses physical stores for better customer service and a faster, more social buying experience. This might be a contributor to eCommerce’s relatively flat growth as a share of total retail sales (7.5 percent globally).
  • Consumers Want Specific Inventory, and a Seamless Experience Accessing It: Today’s shoppers know what they want. The top frustration – cited by 73 percent of respondents – is items not being in stock, underscoring the importance of inventory management for retailers.
  • Consumers Feel Smarter and Get More Value: Fully 80 percent of global consumers claim to be getting more value, both in-store and online.
  • Merchants Are Primed for Omnishoppers’ Loyalty: Despite having nearly endless choices a click away, only 26 percent of shoppers like to try new merchants. This can pose a challenge for retailers trying to attract new customers. Just 20 percent say technology has led them to consider a new retailer.

“When looking at consumers around the globe, Brazilians were the most ardent researchers. In markets like the UK and US, the more consumers research before shopping, the fewer stores they visit in the physical world,” said Theodore Iacobuzio, vice president of Global Insights, MasterCard.


Methodology: The Retail CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper blends insights from MasterCard transaction-based insights with a proprietary survey of omnishoppers conducted in nine markets: Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Poland, UAE, U.S. and U.K. The online survey of 11,337 people was conducted July 2015.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

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