Cross-channel Retailing Grows in Popularity

April 28, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Mobile Phone | Retail & E-Commerce | Technology | Telecom

An increasing number of consumers are performing a wider variety of cross-channel retail activities, according to the Compete Online Shopper Intelligence study.

Three in Four Consumers ‘Ship to Store’
A combined three in four (77%) consumers use the “ship to store” option with varied frequency when making an online purchase. Twenty-nine percent of consumers ship online purchases to the store occasionally, and 25% do so rarely. Another 16% ship to store often, and 6% always use this option. Only 23% of consumers say they never ship an online purchase to the store.

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Most Consumers Have Positive Ship to Store Experience
A majority of consumers (62%) who have shipped an online purchase to a store say they would use this shipping option again. Fifty-two percent say they did not wait long for their order and 23% purchased more items while in the store. Only 6% said the store could not find their order.

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Smartphones Enable Comparative Shopping
As the capabilities of smartphones become more sophisticated, consumers use them for a widening range of shopping functions. The most popular by far is calling, texting, or sending a picture message to someone to get their opinion of a product while in the store, which 62% of consumers do at least once a month. Another 44% review a product description at least once a month, and 35% read a review while in a store.

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In addition to performing comparative shopping, other popular retail uses for smartphones include looking up the address of a store or store hours (53%), checking the price of an item while in a store (44%), checking the status of an order placed online (41%), and looking for retailer or product coupons (39%). It is also interesting to note that 35% of consumers make a purchase on their smartphone at least once a month.

Other Findings

  • 29% of consumers indicated that they are extremely or very likely to research products online before purchasing them in a store.
  • 53% of respondents said an in-store return option would increase their likelihood to purchase online.
  • 44% of smartphone users have downloaded a shopping application to their phone.

Online Product Recommendations Miss Mark
Considering that almost half of smartphone users check an online product recommendation at least once a month, retailers should consider improving what is often a shoddy product recommendation process, according to Choicestream. A recent Choicestream study indicates that 59% of shoppers said they received poor quality product recommendations from retailer websites in 2009. This is a substantial 31% increase from the 45% of shoppers who reported poor quality product recommendations in 2008.

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