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Two just-released surveys reveal the ongoing growth of consumers who prefer online shopping, which includes a shift toward using mobile devices as well as embracing social messaging apps.

And in regard to “buy buttons,” one of the reports found a high level of consumer awareness of them – but few are using it.

Market research firm Epsilon surveyed 1,049 consumers to gauge their interest in and expectations of social messaging. The researchers “found that while 100 percent of consumers [polled] use Facebook Messenger on their phone, Snapchat is used frequently by the greatest number of its users.” There are 900 million active users of Facebook Messenger.

In addition to Facebook Messenger, the poll showed that 46 percent of consumers used Snapchat as well. And 36 percent were users of Instagram Messenger. However, when asked which app was used “frequently,” 72 percent cited Snapchat while 63 percent said Facebook Messenger.

Regarding notifications, 66 percent said they “would be open to receiving coupons upon entering stores, compared to 50 percent receiving notification of store sales upon entering a mall.”

The respondents also showed a preference for more news-related notices, with 68 percent of those polled noting weather forecasts were useful and 52 percent saying notifications about local events were worthwhile. Forty-four percent of those polled said notices about making purchases were useful while 43 percent cited “potential brand/credit card fraud” was needed.

Meanwhile, in a separate survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers by digital commerce firm Sumo Heavy, researchers discovered a high number of online shoppers.

Of those polled, 40 percent said they “make online purchases very often.” And just 9 percent noted that “they rarely or never shop online.” The survey also showed that 64 percent of consumers polled “prefer shopping on mobile-optimized sites over native mobile apps.” And 62 percent use smartphones “while shopping in person.”

Regarding using smartphones in stores, the reasons vary. The researchers found that 73 percent were comparing prices while 58 percent were looking for deals or coupons. And 58 percent said they were reading product reviews. “Only 30 percent use their phones to find alternative products,” the pollsters noted.

Regarding “buy buttons,” 73 percent of those surveyed “have heard of or are familiar with social buy buttons on platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest, but only 10 percent have used them before.”

With artificial intelligence technology, 71 percent of respondents said they “have encountered a virtual customer service agent while shopping online and 42 percent have interacted with one.” WWD recently reported on the adoption of AI and how retailers can use the technology.

Of those polled, 52 percent said they were “most excited” by having a virtual reality-powered shopping experience with apparel.

“The survey results prove that the connected commerce era has arrived,” said Bart Mroz, cofounder and chief executive officer of Sumo Heavy. “Consumers are no longer shopping entirely online or offline and instead are taking a blended approach, using whatever channel best suits their needs. The most impactful shopping experiences will be at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds, leveraging technology to satisfy shoppers, wherever and whenever they want to shop.”

 

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