mobile platforms, omnichannel

Impulse buys are losing their laissez-faire appeal.

Valassis, a leading intelligent media delivery firm, released its “Capturing the Dynamic Retail Shopper” report, which drew a picture of current shopper behavior. The research found that consumers exhaustively research and compare items before finalizing a purchase.

As part of its ongoing partnership with NPD Group in which the companies annually survey 10,000 U.S. individuals over the age of 18, Valassis pulled a sample between May and July this year. Over 1,400 respondents were reflected in the derived set.

The research found that apparel purchases are increasingly investigated. Approximately 43 percent of respondents research and plan every apparel purchase, the report said. Parents have an even higher level of exploring their options – 53 percent research and plan every apparel buy.

Given that more consumers refer to smartphones as key devices to size up their options, shoppers tend to peruse and plan throughout the week instead of waiting until the weekend to begin their probe. According to the report, 59 percent of respondents didn’t have a preference on what day of the week they begin to strategize.

And while omnichannel is the catchword of the year, the research found that most shoppers continue to shop in-store only (48 percent). That said, shoppers are increasingly shopping through a variety of channels, the research found. Approximately 28 percent of respondents shopped both in-store and online. “More and more people are taking advantage of the time flexibility and easy product comparisons that online shopping affords. In-store shopping remains attractive, especially when people want a ‘see and touch’ experience,” the report said.

Despite the fact that the majority of shoppers continue to shop online for less expensive items (76 percent), consumers are increasingly becoming more democratic in their shopping tendencies. Particularly, the research found, in store — 15 percent of respondents shop online for less expensive items while in a bricks-and-mortar. Eighteen percent shopped for these items at work.

When devising strategies to reach consumers, brand and retailers should conceive both print and digital programs. The report said that print secured 29 percent of influence share — online marketing had 23 percent. As consumers increasingly split their research and planning on a variety of devices, brands that integrate data collection to inform marketing campaigns will be best prepared to reach their target audience.

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