With Christmas spending in the UK predicted to top £40bn this year for the first time, it’s important for organisations to understand these trends, in order to deliver a consistently compelling and engaging customer experience.
Customer experience more important than price
Some 53 per cent of UK shoppers are willing to pay more for a product if the brand delivers a positive customer experience, suggesting that businesses which compromise on customer experience in favour of lower prices are adopting the wrong strategy.
Nearly one in three respondents globally admit to shopping for Christmas gifts online while they should be working. This figure is slightly higher in the US – 31 per cent compared to the UK’s 28 per cent. Overall, it is clear that online Christmas shopping could be significantly impacting business productivity.
?Showrooming” remains relevant
More than half of UK respondents say they are researching products they want to buy directly in-store. This remains a more common research option than the use of online tools such as retailer websites and other ecommerce sites.
Product research diversifies, but social lags behind
Despite the growing popularity of social channels, less than five per cent of respondents learn about products on Facebook and Google+ and less than two per cent on Pinterest and Twitter.
Mobile right for research, but purchases stagnate
While mobile commerce technology continues to evolve, the majority of consumers in the UK, US, and Australia say they will not use a tablet or smartphone more this year to purchase gifts. Mobile is a valuable research tool, however, with 45 per cent of all respondents using mobile devices to conduct research before purchasing.
Bricks and mortar gaining ground
Despite the growth in online sales volumes, the study found that consumer preferences towards traditional ?bricks and mortar” stores have increased compared to 2012. In the UK, the proportion of those who prefer shopping in traditional stores increased from 43 to 45 per cent.
Key dates overhyped
Some 15 per cent of UK shoppers wait until after Bonfire Night to begin their Christmas shopping, while two per cent do not plan to start until Christmas Eve. However, the research suggests that key shopping dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday matter less to consumers than they do for retailers. In fact, the vast majority of shoppers around the globe say that they do not plan their spending around specific dates.
?With the majority of consumers willing to pay more to brands that can offer a better experience, smart retailers will be looking to protect profit margins by improving the shopping experience they offer, both online and in-store said Rusty Warner, Marketing SVP for SDL. This also means understanding how shoppers are using each online channel. Brands need to understand these trends and make sure they are optimising each channel to deliver the right experience.