SOURCE: Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce

February 09, 2010 09:00 ET

Retail Consumers' Increasing Mobile Use Raises Expectations for Seamless Cross-Channel Shopping According to Survey

Sterling Commerce Fourth-Annual Consumer Survey Finds That Not Integrating a Mobile Channel Will Fall Short of Cross-Channel Demands

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - February 9, 2010) - Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) company, today announced the results of its fourth annual consumer survey focused on how consumers want to interact with retailers. The survey results reinforced previous findings that consumers' cross-channel expectations are high, even in tight economic times, and that they expect retailers to deliver a consistent experience across all channels, now including mobile.

This year's survey questioned how important the mobile channel is for consumers. The dramatic gaps in mobile usage between the 18-44 and 45-64 age groups demonstrate that mobile shopping trends will increase and drive cross-channel demands. For example:

-- On average, 33 percent of respondents aged 18-44 years old were likely to access information about a product from their mobile device while in the store, where less than half that number (an average 14 percent) of respondents aged 45-64 would.

-- When asked about comparing prices via their mobile device, 35 percent of respondents aged 18-44 years were likely to use this feature compared to 20 percent of respondents aged 45-64.

-- On average, 31 percent of respondents aged 18-44 years old would check to see if an item was in stock via their mobile device while only 19 percent of respondents aged 45-64 years old would use a mobile device for this reason.

"With consumers continuing to be more careful with their dollar as their cross-channel shopping expectations rise, retailers will find that a seamless cross-channel experience will be critical in capturing wallet-share," said Jim Bengier, global retail industry executive for Sterling Commerce. "Retailers who have their order management and inventory visibility processes in order will be best positioned to incorporate the mobile channel into the consumer shopping experience to take advantage of the growing consumer interest."

Other findings of the survey continued to highlight consumers' desire to link the online and physical experience, especially among women and "high-value" consumer groups (higher-income consumers and college graduates). The survey found that:

-- Eighty-four percent of respondents want to have the ability to buy an item online and return to a physical store, while 67 percent want the ability to order online and pickup in a store.

-- Fifty-six percent of in-store shoppers have gone online to do research or look at an item before purchasing it in a store. For consumers with household incomes above $75,000, the number rose to 73 percent and college graduates were 76 percent.

-- Women were more likely to exhibit cross-channel shopping behavior with 59 percent of female respondents saying they had researched an item online before purchasing. Forty-five percent had an item delivered to their home and nearly one in ten women surveyed reported they had returned an item purchased online to the store.

The survey, which polled 1,024 adults between January 7 and 10, 2010 on their shopping habits over the past three months, can be downloaded at http://www.sterlingcommerce.com/retail/home/2010+Consumer+Survey+Results.htm.

Sterling Commerce solutions for retailers include the Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite, a comprehensive solution for the entire inquiry-to-cash process. By creating a seamless experience across all channels including in-store, online, catalog, call center and mobile, Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite enables retailers to capture a greater share of consumer spend. Sterling Commerce also offers Sterling Business Integration Suite, an end-to-end solution for B2B integration addressing the critical areas of managed file transfer and B2B connectivity and collaboration that provides secure connectivity to any partner in any way, optimizes community management, and improves supplier/carrier performance.

The company recently launched mobile applications that extend the order management capabilities of Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite to the Apple iPhone. [See related release, "Sterling Commerce Goes M-Commerce, Unveils New Mobile Apps for Retailers."]

Survey Methodology

The findings are based on a nationwide telephone survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation as part of its CARAVAN® omnibus survey service. This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,024 adults comprising 511 men and 513 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. The survey has a sampling error of +/-3 percentage points for answers close to 50 percent.

About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) company, helps companies optimize and transform their Business Collaboration Network to accelerate revenues and reduce costs. Sterling Commerce provides more than 30,000 customers worldwide applications and integration solutions to connect, communicate and collaborate inside and outside their enterprise. More information can be found at www.sterlingcommerce.com.

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