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78% of shoppers research online before shopping in-store / New LivePerson Research

by on February 13, 2013 in Ecommerce, Email Marketing, featured item, Lead story, Mobile/Tablet, Online Advertising, Online Video, QR Codes, Research, Retail, Retail News, Social Media

78% of shoppers research online before shopping in-store, whilst 1 in 4 (24%) research on their mobile whilst in the physical store itself, reveal the findings of the Connected with Customers Report, commissioned by LivePerson.

The Connecting with Customers Report surveyed over 5,700 online consumers from the UK, USA, Australia, France, Germany and Italy to identify how a change in consumer behaviour is leading to a gap between the expectation of online service levels and the reality of what organisations are able to deliver.

The channels consumers use to browse and purchase goods and services are no longer distinct, allowing them to use in-store, mobile and online methods, often concurrently, to best suit their needs. It’s clear that this blurring of channels has brought about a shift in consumer behaviour, with 50% of shoppers stating that they often/sometimes buy more online that they had originally planned, dispelling the belief that impulse purchases are confined to the high street. Consumers in Italy were most likely to spend more than they intended (59%) with consumers in Germany the least likely (45%).

The research also highlights a key problem for online retailers: abandonment. The blurring of channels has provided consumers with more choice than ever before, making it easy to move elsewhere should frustration with the buying process arise. It’s clear that a poorly laid out web site or lack of help when sought can have serious consequences, with 51% simply giving up on a purchase if they can’t find help immediately or after one try. Broken down by country, Italian consumers (36%) are least likely to abandon when help can’t be found, followed by France (49%), the US (50%), Australia (54%), the UK (55%) and Germany (57%).

Key findings from the Connecting with Customers Report:

  • Channel blur: 78% of online shoppers research online before shopping in store. Figures globally were very similar, ranging from France at 73%, to Italy at 84%. 24% of respondents also research on their mobile whilst in-store.
  • Mind the service gap: 39% of online shoppers spend the same or more online than they do in-store, with standout figures from Italy, 27% and Germany 53%. However, satisfaction of customer service levels is still lower online (67%) than in-store (77%).
  • Top reasons for abandonment: unexpected delivery costs (70%), lack of information about the product/service/delivery (56%), navigation difficulties (46%) and not getting an answer to their question (37%) topped the reasons consumers abandon a purchase online.
  • Reasons behind choice of website: the chief reasons were ease of browsing 67%, delivery prices (57%) and ability to track orders (55%).

Tony Heyworth, International Marketing Director, LivePerson commented: “Although changes in customer behaviour and the resulting channel blur creates online brands with a number of challenges, there’s also a great opportunity to identify and secure a competitive advantage. If you look at the growing popularity of QR codes, online ordering with in-store pick up, and the emergence of in-store kiosks, it’s clear to see that this blur can be exploited to provide consumers with the choice and convenience they increasingly demand when they demand it.

Building great customer service into each channel you offer and providing clear and simple routes to a purchase can significantly increase customer loyalty and increase profits.”

 

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

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