Nowadays there are multiple shopping channels customers can use, with the dominant offline and online channels. Many shoppers use a combination of channels during one shopping journey, by switching channels, and some use a combination of channels simultaneously. These are called the omni-consumers and they expect businesses to operate as omni-channels.
We surveyed 500 Australian shoppers to get an understanding of their habits and preferences in regards to choosing and using shopping channels, separately and in combination.
Online vs. Offline Data:
Our survey found that most shoppers use both channels.
However, when asked about their preference, the figures were a little different. Most customers prefer offline, however many don’t have a preference.
Shopping offline is still the most popular, mainly due to the distinct value of being able to physically see and touch the product.
Shopping channel preference varies between industries due to the nature of the products. The food and groceries industry has the highest percentage of shoppers who prefer to buy offline (73%) followed by furniture (70%). The only industry where the majority of shoppers prefer to purchase online than offline is books (41% vs. 32%).
The majority of shoppers simultaneously use two channels by using their mobile while in-store. The reason for this habit is to get a better understanding of items and alternatives, with the main use being to compare prices.
Many customers prepare for their in-store shop by browsing online prior to the shop. Similarly to the above findings, the main thing that is looked up prior to the shop is the price.
Store availability is also an important factor to look up, as sometimes shoppers go in-store to find the product they want not available. It has never happened to only 9% of shoppers, sometimes to 51%, some of the time to 33% and all the time to as much as 7%.
Another online and offline integration is the click & collect service, where shoppers order online and pick up the items at a location. It integrates the benefits of online shopping, choice and convenience, and eliminates any potential delivery issues. 44% of shoppers have used click & collect and 47% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a site that offers this service.
Due to the nature of today’s shopping habits of switching channels and simultaneously using channels, it is increasingly important to integrate data from all the channels for optimal personalization. Indeed, the majority of shoppers want to see product recommendations on-site based on their in-store purchases.
Barilliance recognizes the importance of data integration from multiple channels. It creates an uninterrupted and a more relevant shopping experience, and allows shoppers transition between channels in a seamless manner. Barilliance’s omni-channel capabilities throughout the shoppers’ journey, to personalize the site, product recommendations and post-purchase emails, enable companies to create a consistent and continuous shopper journey with the most up-to-date information.