Customers use a growing number of different channels during their purchase process. But bricks and mortar remains important.
As if there were any doubts about the importance of offering your products and services across different channels, a new study says that 95% of consumers now rely on it.
Market research from Lightspeed and BookingBug finds that all but 5% of UK consumers undertake the buying journey across multiple channels.
71% of the 1,000 people surveyed as part of the research state they browse for products online before buying them in store. Conversely, 51% say they have looked at products in stores before later buying them online.
And despite mobile’s growing influence on the buying journey, bricks and mortar stores still remain a key component across the length and breadth of the retail sector:
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Interestingly, whilst 58% of retailers now offer click-and-collect as an option in the UK, the study stated that only 45% of consumers regularly use this option. A quarter of respondents claim to have never tried click and collect before.
Despite the complexity involved in delivering products and services to meet changing behaviours, the recent brand simplicity index by Siegel+Gale highlights the need for consistency and ease throughout the customer journey.
Retailers including Aldi, Lidl and IKEA all featured within the index’s top ten brands, thanks to their ease of use in the face of a multitude of intricate buying journeys to have to appease to. Yet, this is despite brands such as IKEA have an unenviable task trying to make sense of their customers’ buying journeys:
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Siegel+Gale’s simplicity index claims a number of benefits for those brands that are able to remove the complexity from multichannel journeys:
64% of the 14,000 consumers surveyed as part of the research said they were willing to pay more for simpler experiences.
61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it's simple.
A stock portfolio of the simplest global brands outperforms the major indexes by 330%.
62% of employees at simple companies are brand champions—versus only 20% of employees at complex companies.
“People have been writing about online shopping nibbling away at the revenues of offline retailers for years,” says Glenn Shoosmith, CEO of BookingBug. “Yet, as any retailer worth their salt understands, the two channels aren’t exclusive. In fact more and more often shoppers are switching between the two.
“It’s clear these physical locations played a key role in helping customers understand a brand’s identity, as well as providing key information about products and services. It’s time for retailers to reconsider how we engineer the experience, and focus it on the customers where it really makes a difference.”
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.