Retailsolutionsonline.com posted a story this week, written by Matt Pillar, highlighting a recent retail survey conducted by commerce solutions provider ATG. The results of the survey, confirmed that most consumers use multiple, online channels to research products as well as make purchases.
ATG's survey included responses from 1,054 consumers, 78% of which claimed to regularly utilize two or more online shopping channels to research items when making a purchase. Another question featured in this study addressed whether the browse/research/purchase dynamic has changed since the proliferation of various shopping channels including in-store, catalogs, online, mobile, and more. Broadly speaking, those polled answered yes--nearly one-third of shoppers now use three or more of these channels in order to make a purchase.
When asked about the results, Bill Zujewski, VP of product marketing at ATG, replied "each channel has its unique strengths and weaknesses, so consumers often hop from one to the next to compensate for a weakness or take advantage of a strength." For example, Zujewski cites mobile channels as a problem, saying that many lack the ability to enable customers finalize transactions. This means that scores of consumers will begin their shopping on their mobile phones, but execute the transaction from a computer or at a brick and mortar store.
But Zujewski warns companies not to demote mobile channels to promotion only status because the traffic is growing at a rapid pace:
"In terms of mobile traffic, what accounted for 1% of Web traffic a year ago is up to between 4 and 6% today, and 23% of consumers between 18 and 23 years completed at least four purchases on a mobile device in the past 12 months.”
Channel-specific research was also conducted. The findings was as follows:
Web: 92% of consumers begin the shopping process on the Internet because they can easily access extensive product-level information.
Brick and Mortar Store: Consumers appreciate the convenience of immediate access to the product as well as returns. 36% said stores are important to them because they want to see and touch the tangible product before they make their purchase.
Call Center: Following Internet research, shoppers often turn to phone conversations in order to have their questions answered immediately. 43% of survey respondents said that they start their product research online or via mobile device, then complete the transaction with a phone call to a customer service representative, usually because the website failed to answer all their questions.
Social Networks: 24% of consumers have incorporated their social networks, most notably Facebook or Twitter, into their overall purchase activity from beginning to end.
Catalog: Apparently people still enjoy receiving catalogs in their mailboxes. According to the ATG research, hard-copy catalogs are still read by 78% of consumers.
via Matt Pillar @ Retailsolutionsonline.com
To view the full ATG study go here.