While drawing in consumers continues to befuddle many retailers and brands, shoppers’ primary behaviors and priorities are remaining consistently top of mind for companies through the upcoming holiday season.
Astound Commerce, a digital insight and solutions enterprise, has released a report, “Competing for Customers, Holiday and Beyond: Astound Insights on U.S. Shopper Viewpoints.” The report examined key methods to capture purchases during the highly competitive and crowded shopping period.
In order to collect the results, 2,000 consumers (1,000 U.S. shoppers and 1,000 European consumers) who spend more than $250 annually responded to a 40-question survey. All participants owned a smartphone.
Unsurprisingly, the report found that most shoppers will be attracted to deals. According to the survey results, one in two shoppers will more often look to save money through coupons, early buying and free shipping. “More than half of online shoppers will be driven to retail web sites as a result of promotions,” the report said.
To shoppers, it’s all about dollars and cents. According to the research, consumers are looking to conserve their funds in a trifecta of approaches. Specifically, 78 percent said that their choice of store is motivated by price, 71 percent said free shipping will secure purchases and 60 percent said they will take advantage of valuable promotions.
Final touches should be placed on omnichannel efforts. “While the web site experience has the most weight when choosing a retailer, store and mobile channels are always a factor for at least four in 10 shoppers,” the report said. “Millennials are impacted more by the quality of social and mobile channels than their older counterparts so if this is your audience pay particular attention to evolving these channels.”
The report suggested considering Amazon as supplementary versus unbeatable. The survey found that seven in 10 online shoppers will make at least 26 percent of their purchases on the e-commerce giant — 40 percent intend to do their holiday shopping on the web site.
But this isn’t all bad news — the report suggested that shoppers can be lured by competitive prices. “Price is the most important driver in shifting business away from Amazon with two in three online shoppers being influenced by better prices among retailers. Price matching changes behavior for 28 percent of online shoppers,” the report said.
Of course, social will remain integral in influencing shopping decisions, too. The research found that six in 10 Millennials have transacted because of social and over four in 10 online shoppers will be prompted with an online store because of a social initiative.
These efforts will be most successful when coupled with additional marketing strategies that include ad search engines, in-app mobile notifications and mobile advertising — one in four shoppers said these actions will be factors in directing purchases.
But not all the efforts need to be electronic this holiday season — ensuring that store associates are well-informed and armed with shopper data will be instrumental in delivering enhanced customer journeys. “Knowing that one in four shoppers would rather interact with technology yet one in three online shoppers report that sales associates make a difference, that personal interaction must serve as the retailer’s secret sauce. Counter to what one might think, Millennials believe sales associates are an integral part of in-store shopping — Millennials (33 percent) vs. Non-Millennials (22 percent),” the report said.
Thoughtful and purposeful strategies will do best this holiday season — delivering consistent messaging through all channels from social to app to store associate will be crucial to secure revenue through the holiday season.
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