People are increasingly using digital
devices to assist with shopping.
If merchants need any more evidence of the importance of omnichannel retailing
, a recent report from Capgemini should provide them with all the ammunition they need. The study took a look at how customers perceived the role of digital channels and how they will use them in years to come to make purchases
Digital gains traction
It should come as no surprise that mobile devices have firmly been established as viable shopping platforms. Nearly half of respondents said they expect to use mobile apps from retailers or third-party organizations such as marketplaces. Online stores also remain popular, with two-thirds of respondents expecting to make purchases from these digital destinations in the future. Finally, a bit more than half of polled shoppers also said they would use digital devices - such as smartphones and tablets - to shop in brick-and-mortar retail stores.
However, just because people are growing more interested in digital outlets, that does not mean brick-and-mortar locations have fallen by the wayside. Only 14 percent of respondents said that physical stores are less important for them now, although half of polled customers did say they will spend more money digitally in the future.
Realistically, most shoppers are using some combination of offline and online channels. Each serves its own unique purpose in the retail journey - the Internet is the preferred channel when it comes to researching products, looking up retailers and finding coupons or deals. However, many customers still opt to make the actual purchase offline. This could be for any one of numerous reasons - perhaps they want the item now instead of waiting or they simply do not want to pay shipping expenses.
"The way that consumers behave and shop is changing considerably," added the Capgemini report. "Shoppers now have a multitude of new options at their disposal to find just the right solution for their specific needs. Moreover, the psychology of their decision-making is also changing, with the application of new sets of criteria to guide their purchasing, and their loyalty to any one of [thousands] of different consumer brands being stretched and strained."
Using the right eCommerce software to deliver the experience
With customers increasingly using a variety of different channels to shop, it is crucial merchants are using the right tools to craft a seamless experience that allows them to transition from sales avenue to sales avenue. Keeping customers in the same retail ecosystem plays a pivotal role in reinforcing merchants' brands.