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Omnichannel consumers blending online and in-store shopping

25th Nov 2013
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Forget the fears that the growth of ecommerce is damaging the High Street; new research has revealed that today’s omnichannel shoppers are complementing online and in-store to create the best experience.

BuzzCity surveyed 13,000 consumers across 20 countries on their shopping habits from online and mobile to in-store, and found that 59% of consumers who shop online also shop in-store. And, whilst 47% of consumers said that they expect to do their holiday shopping online this year, the research showed that this does not adversely affect the number of people shopping in-store.

What drives consumers most is not how a customer can buy a product – be that online or in-store – but the variety available to them (33%). The second most important factor in deciding whether to purchase or not is driven by whether products are well displayed and easy to find (32%); followed by discounts – which come in third place (24%) when shopping in-store and fifth place (14%) when shopping online.

Conversely, the figures showed that almost a third (32%) of shoppers surveyed have left a store because what they wanted was not available or discounted.

The survey also found that information-savvy shoppers demand variety but look for advice in final selections – while in-store, 29% use their mobile to ask their family and friends’ advice.

There also needs to be more sophistication in the role of the sales assistant. The figures showed that 20% preferred to use their phone to find information about a product rather than ask a sales assistant and 16% said that they had a better experience in-store when shop assistants used the latest technology to service customers.

KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity, said: “This report is a reflection of how consumers are increasingly empowered by technology and using every channel available to make more informed choices at their own convenience. The end sale is no longer either in-store or online, but a combination of both experiences in the customer buying process. The use of mobile in shopping complements the in-store channel rather than threatens it, offering another sales platform to reach the customer both in-store and online.”

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