Technology now touches nearly every retail transaction, creating a vastly different shopping experience for retailers and consumers alike, according to a research report published by MasterCard. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The study found that 8 out of 10 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 90% 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," explained 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 analyse and answer these expectations-meeting your omnishoppers every step of their empowered journey, and creating an ecosystem that propels them forward."

The '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 from the study included:

  • 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, "lick 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 10 are doing more research online today than two years ago.
  • Bricks 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 e-commerce's relatively flat growth as a share of total retail sales (7.5% globally).
  • Consumers want specific inventory, and a seamless experience accessing it: today's shoppers know what they want. The top frustration - cited by 73% of respondents - is items not being in stock, underscoring the importance of inventory management for retailers.
  • Consumers feel smarter and get more value: 80% 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% of shoppers like to try new merchants. This can pose a challenge for retailers trying to attract new customers. Just 20% 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,.