Retailers need to better align their physical store and online presence to capture the sale of showroomers, according to a new report by IBM. The company released the results of the IBM Institute for Business Value survey into shoppers’ attitudes at the National Retail Federation conference in New York this month.
The report points to a number of evolving retail trends:
1. While Internet sales are expected to continue to rise, other aspects of online experience are taking shape e.g. ‘showrooming‘ – the trend of consumers visiting bricks-and-mortar stores to browse goods, but then returning home to purchase them on the web at a lower price, is becoming more common.
2. ‘Showroomers‘ account for only six per cent of all shoppers, but their impact on Internet sales was striking.
3. Nearly half of all online buyers in the retail categories covered by the research were showroomers.
4. 25 per cent of these shoppers said they initially planned to buy in-store, but were swayed to buy on the Internet by their online experience.
5. 65 per cent of these showroomers said they planned to make their next purchase on the Internet.
Consumers want a truly integrated shopping experience. In response to this, retailers should provide as much consistency and convenience across every consumer touch point as is possible, says the company.
IBM believes that retailers can better align their physical store and online presence to capture the sale of showroomers e.g. brand their free WiFi services to drive shoppers to their websites when they access the Internet in-store.The research confirms how today’s shopper now expect a certain level of personalisation, mainly due to their experiences online. The study found that 89 per cent said they would spend about 20 minutes providing information on their preferences for what they buy, the channels they consider before doing so, and how they want to be reached. After that, they want the retailer to learn from their activities and promote relevant products and opportunities. Analytics is the key tool retailers need to deliver on this expectation for personalisation with better marketing to shoppers. Retailers working on improving consumers’ experience will be rewarded with greater brand loyalty, concludes IBM.
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