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e-Commerce Industry News

August 29, 2014
Differentiating between digital buyers and digital shoppers
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August 29, 2014
Not all online shoppers actually buy online. Not all online shoppers
actually buy online.
One of the big challenges of omnichannel retailing is trying to attribute sales to different channels. For example, one merchant may see low conversion rates on mobile channels and assume these efforts are ineffective. In reality, that more common occurrence is that mobile sites attract shoppers but not buyers, so these mobile apps and platforms are still highly effective shopping tools.

A recent infographic from Snap Parcel makes it quite clear that there is actually a significant portion of people who shop digitally but do not make purchases through this channel. This year, the firm expects there to be approximately 163 million digital buyers, or 74 percent of Internet users, while there will be 196 million digital shoppers, 89 percent of Internet users. Both categories are expected to grow in the years to come. By 2018, there will be 188 million digital buyers and 215 million digital shoppers.

The big takeaway here is the fact that even though people rely heavily on the Web and mobile Internet to research products and services, customers will not always buy through these channels. Yet these channels are vital to the success of retailers and will generate sales somewhere down the line, which is why it is so important merchants treat them like equal parts of the shopping experience.

Think of it this way - if retailers do not have a mobile app or a website optimized for mobile viewing, how are they supposed to engage on-the-go customers? Instead, these people will go to a competitor's site and find the requisite information before going to their brick-and-mortar stores to make a purchase. There is a gap between shoppers and buyers, so it is crucial merchants recognize this gap as they look to engage prospects.