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Convenience draws online shoppers

News, 22 December 2014

LONDON: The convenience of online shopping has encouraged more than 60% of British and American consumers to do their holiday shopping via the internet this year, up from 50% in 2013, a new survey has revealed.

Based on the opinions of 2,000 adults in the UK and US, technology consultants Wipro Digital said consumers are choosing convenience over price as their top reason for shopping online.

This requires brands to compete on experience, not just price, the report said, especially as less than 10% of the survey respondents think prices are more competitive in-store or that sales staff are sufficiently knowledgeable.

Only slightly more think physical stores provide a more personalised experience and parking turns out to be another disincentive as nearly half expect to have trouble trying to find a parking space.

"This holiday season, it looks as if physical stores have not yet done enough to draw consumers into their stores," said Avinash Rao, global head at Wipro Digital.

"Improving the in-store experience, for example by offering virtual wardrobes side-by-side with displays, could give consumers a reason to reverse the trend of shopping more online.

"Either way, businesses which can deliver experiences based on deep insight into customer journeys will stand out."

However, on a more positive note for bricks-and-mortar retailers, over 80% of shoppers say they would like to be able to match an in-store promotion when shopping online. The trouble is 60% expect that would be difficult to do.

Also, the phenomena of "showrooming" and "webrooming" is not expected to feature much this holiday season because less than 5% plan to research in-store and then buy online, or research online and then buy in-store.

"While we see an increase in online shopping at this time of year, people are still looking for the best way to combine online and offline experiences," Rao concluded.

"Brands that can peel apart all the interactions that form a customer journey and offer what customers want are the ones who will succeed not only this holiday but going forward."

Data sourced from Wipro Digital; additional content by Warc staff