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Channel Integration Supported for Seamless Interaction

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Journeyman

More of what we already know from the Center of Media Research, but great validation with some highlights below:

According to a new report, titled “Digital Shopper Relevancy” by Capgemini shoppers are not loyal to one channel but expect a seamless integration across online, social media, mobile and physical stores.

72% of digital shoppers surveyed rated internet sites as important or extremely important for learning about products, followed by email and in-store technology such as kiosks. Social media was cited ahead of smartphone applications, with call centers trailing.

Most Important Digital Channels for Product Awareness (Important/Very Important For Learning About Products)

Digital Channel

% of Respondents

Internet sites

72%

Email (newsletters, offers)

58

InStore technology

49

Social Media

4

Smartphones

40

Phone (call centers)

32

Source: Capgemini, July 2012

Key Findings

  • Women are generally more engaged than men when using digital channels. They are more interested than men in receiving personalized offers, recommendations and information about new products. In addition, women are more interested than men in using digital devices inside the physical store to order products that are not available in the store; they are also more interested in the ability to easily compare different products before making the final purchasing decision, and in being offered visual aids (such as “howto” videos) to help them choose the most suitable product.
  • Older shoppers place less importance than their younger counterparts on digital channels in general. But this doesn’t mean they don’t see value in these channels. In particular, they are heavy users of Internet sites, especially during the early phases of the shopping journey. Older shoppers are interested in using blogs and social networks to find consumer recommendations and reviews, although they are less likely than younger shoppers to follow retailers on social media. A surprising number want to receive location-based messages and offers from retailers via digital channels. Overall, shoppers in the older age groups are less interested in using mobile apps, although they do see value in in-store technology such as kiosks and digital devices integrated into shopping carts.

  The differences were less pronounced when it came to demographic factors such as education and income levels. A detailed segmentation analysis identified six distinct segments of digital shoppers: Techno-Shy Shoppers, Occasional Online Shoppers, Value Seekers, Rational Online Shoppers, Digital Shopaholics and Social Digital Shoppers.  

Each segment uses digital channels and devices in different ways during their shopping journeys. For example, Digital Shopaholics are early adopters and experimenters; they use digital channels and devices like smartphone apps and in-store technology very actively throughout the shopping process. In contrast, Value Seekers are price-sensitive shoppers with low interest in digital shopping and new technologies. They shop online primarily to find the best deals on products they know they want and seldom use smartphone apps, social media or instore technology when shopping.

Digital shoppers, especially those in mature markets, want retailers and consumer products companies to get basics right before they will be open to engage. When researching, comparing and choosing products through digital channels, half or more of respondents said that these factors are extremely important:

  • Clearly marked product price
  • Availability and delivery charges
  • Comprehensive product information

  Digital shoppers expect online prices to be lower than those in physical stores, cited by 73% of all respondents. Digital Shopaholics and Social Digital Shoppers are most likely to think online prices should be lower. More than 80% of these more digital-savvy shoppers said online prices should be lower vs. about 60% of non-digital-savvy respondents.  

Across the phases of the shopping journey, Internet sites remain the dominant digital channel in all of the product categories studied, followed by e-mail:

  • 79% of electronics shoppers said the Internet is important
  • 74% of DIY shoppers said the same
  • 73% of fashion shoppers
  • 70% of health and personal care shoppers
  • 59% of food shoppers

The study findings show that shoppers are no longer loyal to an individual channel but rather to an experience across all channels, says the report. The majority of shoppers said they are likely to spend more money at a physical store if they use digital channels to research the product prior to purchase. In addition, they said they will spend more money with a particular retailer if products are available anytime via any channel.

Nearly 60% of respondents said they expect channel integration to be the norm by 2014, but more than half said that most retailers currently are not consistent in the way they present themselves across channels.

The report concludes by noting that “... understanding how shoppers are using channels and devices in the context of their daily lives is a critical starting point to serve them in a relevant manner... providing a seamless interaction across channels is challenging for retailers and consumer products companies... requiring considerations that impact the entire enterprise... shifting from a product- or feature-focused approach to a consumer- and shopper focused approach... integrating processes such as merchandising, order fulfillment and inventory management by category rather than by individual channel... “

To view the full report, including charts and graphs, please visit Capgemini here.