Sales & Marketing

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5 shopping trends in the omni-channel age

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Mobile advertising network BuzzCity surveyed 13,000 consumers across 20 countries on their shopping habits from online and mobile to in–store, which revealed key trends in the way shoppers have adapted to digital commerce.

One of the key findings dispels fears that online shopping is to blame for the challenges met by high street retailers; the 59 per cent of consumers who shop online also shop in-store. Nearly half of consumers expect to do their holiday shopping online this year, but this does not affect the number of people shopping in-store, with top destinations online and offline being computers and electronics, books and music and clothing and accessories.

In light of these findings, here are five top trends of the connected shopper:

1. Contrary to popular belief, price is not the overall deciding factor. Whether shopping in-store or online, consumers look first for variety; they then expect products to be well displayed and easy to find. 

2. The real challenge for in-store retailing comes from the alternatives that the connected consumer has that result in ‘abandoned’ shopping. Almost a third of shoppers left a store because what they wanted was not available or discounted. Sharing what is sold out and the alternatives that are available online and on the shop floor has become an important step in the evolution of retail.

3. According to Fitch data, the shopping trends of Generation Z will demand a retailing rethink. This involves their constant need to document, share and explore options through social media, which changes what they want when they go shopping.

4. Connected consumers demand variety but look for advice in final selections – while in-store they now get this by asking advice from friends or family members via their phones. With customers more readily informed, the in-store environment needs to empower sales assistants to provide a consultative approach to customer enquiries, as a fifth of shoppers said that they could find the information they wanted faster on their phone than asking a shop assistant.

5. While shopping behavior increasingly starts online, it often still ends in the store.

What we can conclude is that online and in-store shopping are not separate business exercises, but need to be designed as complementary experiences to suit the consumers’ context. Many will continue shopping in-store. Some will shop online to collect at a store near home. Others will make mobile payments in-store for home delivery, completely avoiding check-out queues.

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