The Online Shopper and the Evolving Retail Landscape

A recent consumer experience study from UPS shows some exciting insights on the behavior of the modern online shopper and trends taking shape in the evolving retail landscape. The study provides data on the preferences of shoppers, a review of the current state of the retail industry and a look at the emerging impact from mobile influences and changing store dynamics. You can review the study in its entirety from UPS, but we’ve outlined some highlights below that are of importance to retailers and industry professionals.

State of the Industry

  • Retailer channels account for 43% of product searches via onsite browsing (18%), in-store visits (18%), or catalog shopping and promotional circulars (7%).
  • Over 80% of consumer product research takes place online, with 21% being done via mobile devices.
  • This year, over 50% of customers who purchased goods online opted to ship items to store for pickup, making Ship-to-Store a vital function of overall omnichannel success.

Mobile’s Emerging Impact

  • 46% of mobile and tablet users have made purchases on their device.
  • 65% of marketing emails were opened on mobile devices during Q4 2013.
  • 68% of shoppers prefer to visit a retailer’s full website, even when viewing on a tablet or smartphone.

Changing Store Dynamics

  • 36% of shoppers report comparing prices in-store.
  • 27% of shoppers are reading reviews and feedback from peers when in-store.
  • 20% of shoppers complain via social media if dissatisfied with a retail purchase.
  • 25% of shoppers want to checkout with their own mobile device using self-checkout applications in store.

Conclusions

Retailer’s should be leveraging mobililty in their omnichannel strategies by defining the optimal user experience and building a mobile roadmap to achieve those goals. Additionally, retailers should evaluate the role of mobile apps for their business. Apps such as self-checkout and mobile shopping can help drive sales and improve customer loyalty.

Store-based retailers should explore the technology that can be deployed to educate, inspire and service the shopper in-store. Utilizing technology like product locators to find inventory and forward-thinking with mPOS (point of sale) systems can lead to a better shopping experience that keeps consumers coming back again and again.