A new study finds just 28% of retailers send real-time promotions to store shoppers’ phones, even though a much larger percentage of consumers surveyed would like to receive such offers in stores.

Retailers who marry mobile, web and store would likely be met with open arms by many consumers. The problem, according to new research from Accenture, is that many retailers aren’t wedding the three.

A survey of 750 U.S. consumers and a separate 150-question survey of 32 U.S. retailers finds that 45% of consumers would like to receive real-time promotions on their smartphone or tablet while shopping in a store. However, only 28% of retailers polled offer that service.

Additionally, 32% of consumer respondents said the biggest improvement retailers need to make in terms of shopping is to integrate the physical store, online and mobile. Accenture says, for example, that the overwhelming majority of retailers surveyed cannot track what a customer has searched for or put into a basket online and easily transfer the shopping basket so the consumer can pay for the product in-store. Accenture did not specify the percentage of retailers that offer this option.

The study also finds:

  • While all of the U.S. retailers surveyed have mobile-optimized websites, a much smaller 53% have optimized their websites for tablets.
  • When asked specifically about the improvements needed to improve store shopping, 19% of consumers cite easy ordering of out-of-stock merchandise and 15% free Wi-Fi.
  • A disconnect between online and store pricing: Only 34% of retailers analyzed had the same pricing in stores and online for more than 80% of items assessed. That’s despite 82% of consumers expecting a retailer’s prices to be the same in-store and online, up from 69% a year earlier.

“Physical and digital commerce are converging at an incredible pace,” says Dave Richards, global managing director of Accenture’s retail practice. “The fact that many consumers are looking for real-time promotions to be sent to their phones means retailers have an opportunity to capitalize on the power of these devices. All sales channels must be equally desirable to the consumer, so that the path to purchase is not chosen based on satisfaction in one channel over another, but simply on what is most convenient at that time.”


The Accenture research also examined shipping and finds:

  • 57% of consumers are willing to wait between four and seven days for free delivery.
  • 29% would wait eight days or more for free shipping, compared to 23% who said the same last year.
  • 26% are willing to pay $10 or more for same-day delivery for an item they need urgently, 13% would pay extra for next-day delivery, and 22% would consider paying $20 or more for delivery within two hours.
  • 20% of shoppers have increased the use of the buy online/pickup in-store option during the past year.
  • 46% of consumers say consolidating an order into one delivery rather than multiple deliveries is “extremely” or “very” important.

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