When shopping in a store with mobile-equipped store associates, 65% of US shoppers and 75% of European shoppers expect the associates to be able to check product pricing on that mobile device, according to new Forrester data based on a survey of more than 4,000 US and 13,000 EU respondents. Additionally, 38% and 60%, respectively, expect the associate to use her mobile device to answer technical questions about a product. “While US retailers lead the way in terms of deploying in-store digital technology,” writes Forrester Principal Analyst Martin Gill in a new report, “European consumers actually have higher expectations of a digitally enhanced store than their US counterparts.” As such, notes Gill, there is clear opportunity in both geographies to leverage shoppers’ propensity to embrace digital research by better integrating digital technology into the physical environment.

While digital technology has the ability to enhance the shopper experience, it can only hope to truly transform the retail experience if it provides value at every stage of the customer life cycle. For instance, Audi’s “Audi City,” a digital car showroom in London, does exactly that: Prospective buyers can explore Audi models via Microsoft Surface terminals and gesture-controlled interactive video displays. The level of immersion has resulted in 70% of the cars sold through the showroom being bought with no test drive, and nine out of 10 purchases are with customers new to the Audi brand.

“Over the next decade,” notes Gill in a new blog post, “the current wave of in-store digital experimentation will turn into a full-scale rollout. For retailers that don’t already have a plan, it’s time to kick-start things before it’s too late.”

For additionial insight on this research, visit the full report, “Powering The Agile Store,” here.