GLOBAL: With consumers now using an average of five devices when making a purchase – up from 2.8 a year ago – the need for brands and retailers to offer an omnichannel, multi-screen experience has never been more urgent, a new study has said.
According to the 2015 Connected Commerce study, produced by marketing agency DigitasLBi and based on a survey of 17,000 adult web users across 17 countries, consumers are now starting to embrace wearable devices – 17% own one – in addition to computers, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.
And as they use more devices so too they are becoming more comfortable in moving beyond traditional e-commerce activities on desktop and laptop into mobile commerce (28%) and shopping via tablets (20%).
The survey also showed that in-store pick-up is becoming a particular favourite of shoppers, with 51% taking advantage of click-and-collect services globally, a figure that jumps to 73% in the UK.
"Customers want to save time and money whilst being able to choose from more ways to shop than ever before," said Jim Herbert, CEO of DigitasLBi Commerce. "Mobile is set to fundamentally change the retail experience."
He noted that mobile was increasingly becoming the platform of choice for bargain hunters on the go: "85% of those surveyed now use smartphones whilst in-store; a further 55% of consumers claim that smartphones have changed the way they shop altogether."
Further, 62% of smartphone users said they would be happy to use their devices to pay in-store, and Herbert speculated that the launch of Apple Pay in the US could help make 2015 "the year of mobile payment".
The study also found that social shopping is gaining traction, with 28% of social network users around the world claiming to have purchased an item directly via a social media platform.
Other social elements such as online reviews were also shown to be gaining importance in the purchasing process: 66% of shoppers read them when buying online and 36% when shopping in-store.
A sure way to the consumer's pocket, the survey suggested, is personalisation. Six in ten (62%) respondents said they bought more and/or more often when presented with a personalised retail experience.
Nor was this necessarily limited to online shopping, as 70% also said were more likely to embrace new in-store technologies such as GPS and WiFi tracking if they received customised benefits in return, such as personalised money-off vouchers.
Data sourced from DigitasLBi; additional content by Warc staff