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e-Commerce Industry News

August 23, 2013
End of the journey: Where are customers making purchases?
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August 23, 2013
Customers might start researching products through one channel, but they'll often finalize the purchase elsewhere. Customers might start
researching products through
one channel, but they'll
often finalize the
purchase elsewhere.
In the days of old, customers would go into a store and most likely buy an item. They could order products from catalogs or call centers, but in-store shopping was the norm. Omnichannel shopping has changed that, with customers often taking a multi-stop journey before completing purchases. By understanding how consumers go from considering goods to actually purchasing them, retail brands will be in a better position to optimize the shopping experience for them.

A new study from JiWire not only illustrates the prevalence of omnichannel shopping habits, but also conveyed the importance of putting in the effort to truly understand why and how modern customers shop.

"Among the highlights, consumers researching on laptops are the most likely to purchase on the same device, with only a minority of tablet and smartphone researchers doing so," noted Marketing Charts, citing the JiWire report. "In fact, respondents researching on a smartphone said they were more likely to finish purchases in-store than on any single device."

The study looked at all four major shopping channels, brick and mortar stores, laptops, tablets and smartphones. According to respondents, 57 percent who researched an item in-store purchased it there, 52 percent who researched an item on their laptop bought it via that device, 41 percent who researched on their tablet made a purchase through it and 28 percent of people who researched on their smartphones made the final purchase there.

Another fact illuminated by the JiWire study is that, contrary to popular belief, brick and mortar retailers aren't dead. Across all four channels polled, physical stores were either the most common or second-most common places to purchase products after consumers researched them. For in-store and smartphone shoppers, the majority of them completed their transactions at brick-and-mortar locations. For laptop and tablet shoppers, physical locations were the second-most likely places for them to make their final transaction.

While the JiWire study mainly pertained to researching and making purchases, it is crucial to remember that omnichannel shopping can extend beyond that as well. For instance, some customers may want to make a purchase in-store but have it delivered to their homes (this is particularly the case with big-ticket items), while some may prefer to buy online and pick up their products in store. Utilizing order management systems and other eCommerce solutions can help retailers extend omnichannel operations to all parts of the shopping experience.