People who browse across different mobile devices and make use of on-to-offline services are 30 per cent more likely to do research online before committing to a purchase but the value of these purchases can be up to 50 per cent more than if done through a single channel, according to a new study by Deloitte commissioned by eBay.
Dubbed ‘Super Shoppers’ they are the 18 per cent of people who shop most frequently but who accounted for 70 per cent of total UK retail sales in 2013.
“Customers are in the driving seat and pushing retailers for ever higher standards of service and greater convenience,” said Tanya Lawler, vice president of eBay in the UK. “Customers fully expect your store and online channels to be joined up and can have little patience if they aren’t. For example, they want to collect in store or return via the store, even if they bought online.”
Indeed, 29 per cent of internet users follow brands on social media, and 22 per cent claim to be influenced by a retailer’s social media presence. A further 30 per cent actively engage with brands post-purchase through reviews or recommendations.
The study also found that while 31 per cent of shoppers visit the store prior to making a purchase online, generally referred to as ‘showrooming’, more people (34 per cent) research online and then complete the purchase in store, or ‘reverse showrooming’.
In a separate survey of 2000 adults and 21 retailers, Deloitte found that when it comes to spending on online, non-store shopping is almost entirely additional to their high street sales in two key sectors – dresses and white goods.
In the UK dress market, for example, retailers who have both store and online sales held 54 per cent of the total dress market, and 40 per cent of the online market in 2013.
This, says Deloitte, offers a significant opportunity for retailers as it estimates that in the UK last year up to €9bn of sales may have been enabled by omnichannel retail (some of these sales may have taken place later on in stores, but equally may never have taken place at all).
“This study sets out to answer the question of how shopping beyond the store is affecting offline retailing,” explained Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte. “While this is a sector specific study and more research is required to draw industry-level conclusions, it suggests that a broad presence across channels can in many scenarios positively influence store sales. It highlights a significant opportunity for retailers to use a mix of stores and online presence to boost the bottom line, selling at home and abroad.”
Supporting eBay and Delloite’s findings is the Agile Consumer 2013 report, which last week found that m-commerce has grown 63 per cent in the last five years.