Cross-channel shopping is the new norm: Fifty-four percent of consumers regularly employ two or more channels before they make a purchase, according to a new study by Oracle.
The report, “Cross-Channel Commerce: The Consumer View,” reveals that consumers expect a consistent experience across all channels. Nearly 20% expect to redeem the same coupons and promotions in stores and online.
“Consumers expect a single, personalized experience with consistent pricing, promotions, inventory and service,” said Mike Webster, senior VP and general manager, Oracle Retail. “As a whole, retailers are challenged to move across channels as easily as the consumer and deliver the same consistent, high quality experience no matter the format.”
Among the key findings:
Consumers expect instant gratification in stores: The stakes are high for retailers to have the right product when customers walk in the door, with pricing and promotions that are the same or better than what shoppers found online. Seventy-five percent said that they go to the store to see the product before they buy it, and 44% go when they need the product right away. If items are not in, 51% said they expect a store associate to find an out-of-stock item online and have it shipped.
Consumers use mobile as the all-in-one tool, especially younger consumers: Though 25% of consumers say they fear security breaches on their mobile device, 44% consumers age 25 – 34 and 30% of consumers age 18 – 24 say they are or soon will use their mobile phone as a payment device in stores.
When it comes to making purchases online, 45% of consumers age 18 – 34 who own a smartphone will use it to purchase products online as often as a few times each week.
Information is power: Consumers want improvements online, including more detailed product information, better search and easier access to customer service representatives via live help options such as click-to-call or live chat.
Shoppers are getting social: For marketers, Facebook is a green field for launching promotions with new and returning customers, many of whom say they use Facebook to look for coupons, promotions and special offers from retailers. Twenty-three percent of consumers have clicked “like” for merchants on Facebook, and 20% of those that are Facebook members have made a purchase there.