A new report has attempted to debunk the common myths of multichannel retailing. PwC’s annual global survey of online shoppers seeks to debunk the conventional wisdom about web-based consumer behaviour.
The report focuses the following ten key areas of multichannel retailing.
1. Social media will soon become an indispensable channel.
2. Stores will be used more as showrooms.
3. Tablets will overtake PCs for Internet shopping use.
4. Global consumers are becoming similar.
5. China is the key model for future Internet retailing.
6. Domestic retailers are enjoying a “home field” advantage.
7. Global online pure-players enjoy a scale advantage over domestic online retailers.
Retailers are better positioned than brands because they are closest to customers.
Online retailing takes sales from other channels.
Low pricing is the main spend driver for consumers.
With shoppers having access to multiple channels as they shop, they can use various resources before deciding what/whether to purchase. The study revealed that 49 percent of respondents use social media seven days a week; 59 per cent using social media to follow and give feedback to brands and retailers, compared to 49 per cent last year. The report also revealed that 27% of respondents discovered brands through social media, compared to 17% last year.
More than half of shoppers are often bypassing retailers and going directly to brand websites in China and the US. Just 17% said they shop online less than once per year i.e. the vast majority of Internet users have expanded their web activities to shopping. Meanwhile, a vast majority of online shoppers narrow their preferred online retail destinations to five or less sites.
“The more minutely retailers can identify how consumers are utilizing the different channels, the more success they will have,” said Lisa Feigen Dugal, US retail & consumer sector advisory leader at PwC.
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