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Is the impulsive shopper a thing of the past?

28th Nov 2014
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Is there such thing as an impulsive shopper anymore? Data from Rakuten Marketing states that the average consumer makes 9.5 interactions with a brand before buying a product, suggesting even the most spontaneous of shoppers have done a little homework prior to flashing the cash.  

Japan’s leading ecommerce provider and owner of, Rakuten, commissioned its marketing division to deliver the report ‘Measuring the Modern Shopper’ to discover the extent to which consumers rely on different channels during the buying process.

They found that, in comparison to similar statistics from 2011, the average shopper makes seven more connections with a brand, be it via websites, social media, TV or in-store, than they did four years ago, before purchasing. 

Indeed, the average number of channels used before conversion has also increased, from 1.25 in January to 3.25 in 2014.   

“Consumers’ confidence in the web means they move around very quickly between devices, channels and websites,” says Seth Richardson, CTO at Rakuten Marketing. “They know what they want and understand how to find it, so are making more comparisons between retailers before taking the decision to buy.”

“Marketers now know that focusing on a single channel means missing the ‘modern shopper’ at crucial stages of the purchase journey. Certainly, there are operational challenges to achieve an omnichannel approach, but the real challenge is to accurately measure performance.”

With a recent survey from Deloitte showing that 95% of online sales are incremental to store sales, there is an evident need for all businesses to ensure they provide an omnichannel experience to customers.

Further statistics also highlight the importance of targeting and retargeting advertising campaigns to consumers – another recent study from Rakuten Marketing found that it takes the average consumer 233 hours - nearly 10 days - to purchase a product online after initially being targeted by an ad.

A proportion of shoppers however, do buy immediately after being retargeted with an ad. 14.4% of sales across the travel sector are made straightaway, compared to 8.3% of fashion purchases and 11.7% of luxury fashion buys; suggesting that luxury shoppers are more impulsive than high street customers.  

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