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Capturing the Multi-Channel Shopper

Marketers and retailers across the board know that consumers are in the driver’s seat. They are using multiple devices and various channels to stay permanently connected. The journey from search to purchase is still sometimes rough for consumers, so they are demanding a smoother ride from retailers to find what they want and be able to purchase it when they want. This is putting the pressure on marketers to formulate the right message across the wide range of channels that consumers desire.

To make sense of the multi-channel shopping scene today, you have to dive into the statistics:

Of those consumers who shop online, sixty percent say they purchase something at least once a month. Ten percent say they purchase something every week.

Surprisingly (or maybe not) male online shoppers outnumber female online shoppers by four to three. A recent poll finds that the majority of men still dislike the shopping experience, but do find online shopping more tolerable than going out to do it physically.

Mobile devices continue to grow in importance for online shoppers. In 2015 nearly sixty-six percent of all online shoppers were using mobile devices to shop and place orders. In 2014 that number was only fifty-two percent. We can also expect artificial reality and virtual reality shopping experiences to increase, according to Couponbox.com.

The number of laptops and pcs used for online shopping continues to drop, although it is still at a respectable forty-nine percent.

Seventy-five percent of online shoppers say they use their cart to store possible future purchases rather than as immediate purchase portals. On average, an online shopper will take five days between carting an item and then decide whether or not to actually purchase it.

Forty-five percent of online shoppers say they store items on their carts and then, if possible, visit a physical store to examine the item in person before making the purchase. This is why catering to the multi-channel consumer is growing in importance to retailers.

Only forty-three percent of online businesses use an automated shopping cart reminder, and only twenty-nine percent ever offer discounts on items in consumer’s shopping carts.

The overwhelming evidence points to the fact that consumers under the age of fifty consider their shopping experience to be a journey, not an event. Marketers and retailers would be wise to see that their road to purchasing is kept smooth and flowing. Stoplights, road construction, and confusing road signs are not appreciated by the consumer. The ideal scenario for a consumer is that he or she discovers an item they are interested in purchasing while on their laptop. They then make further inquiries about the item on their mobile device, searching out reviews and consumer reports. Then they consult with their friends on their social network for their input. Finally, they come to the store (if there is one) to check out the item in person. Then, if they’re satisfied, they purchase it using their mobile device.

The multi-channel consumer is here to stay. Retailers and marketers must make up their minds to see that their switching from one channel to another is kept as smooth and convenient as possible.



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