How Technology is Blurring The Line Between Online and Offline Shopping

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A Survey of Consumers Who Use Mobile Devices To Shop

The boundaries between digital and offline shopping is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish. Customers eagerly participate in both types of shopping experiences, sometimes at the same rate. However, It is the responsibility of retailers to cater to both physical and virtual demands from their customers.

To meet these needs, retailers must invest in technology that bridge the gap between the two. This will enable shoppers to have a positive experience regardless of where they are on their journey, providing optimum service throughout and consequently leading to higher customer retention.

One of the most notable growing trends retailers are already utilising as a bridge in our new mixed-presence retail environment is Coupons.

Using Coupons As A Bridge

Traditional discounts and everyday low prices are no longer enough to satisfy customers accustomed to deals. To stay on top of ever-changing consumer habits, retailers are now making use of coupons as a key tactic.

These can be found online but used in-store, thus bridging the gap between digital and physical channels. This lets shoppers get a clear understanding of the product they are interested in, makes them more likely to buy and recommend it, and provides brands with valuable customer data.

The future of shopping is all about choices and experiences; those with both online and physical presences have an advantage when it comes to providing innovative services that consumers will come back to. It is up to retailers to earn their customers’ vote by offering seamless omnichannel experiences tailored to each individual’s unique interests.

How distinct are the online and in-store shopping experiences? How far has the online experience come in replicating what you can do in a store?

The following report is based on a survey of about 1000 Americans who have used their mobile devices to shop. From this survey, “Shopping” was defined as any activity encompassing the broader shopping experience, including browsing, discovering a new product, reading product reviews, researching a purchase, checking with friends or experts about what to buy, asking the retailer questions about a product, purchasing a product, returning a product, sharing details of a purchase on social media, and so on.

From a survey carried out to uncover how mobile and online shopping are impacting the overall shopping experience. The following were discovered

Key Findings:

77% of consumers research product information online while shopping in a store, with Millennials being the most likely to do so (85%) and Baby Boomers being less so (63%);

62% purchased the item they were considering after checking online; 49% bought in-store and 48% bought online;

91% went into a store because of an online experience – 60% because of email promotions, 59% from finding an online coupon, and 52% from viewing an online circular;

Online shopping is preferred for researching purchases (71%) and case finding of a specific items, whilst in-store better serves returns (64%), knowing what is being bought (53%) and establishing relationships with merchants (51%);

63% shop online while watching TV
28% shop online while socializing with friends
24% shop online while in a coffee shop or restaurant
22% shop online while commuting or moving between locations

74% have made an impulse purchase in a store in the past month; 65%, online; 23%, from traditional newspaper circulars compared to 22%, Facebook; 13%, Twitter; 13%, Pinterest.

22% do less shopping online due to changes to sales tax

Mobile was by far the preferred technology according to the survey. Smartphones were the most popular devices (92 percent) for in-store research, followed closely by tablets. For conducting in-store research when shopping, search engines (84 percent) and Amazon (76 percent) were the most common online resources, while more than one-third (37 percent) identified social media as a resource.

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