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GfK-Top-Categories-OmniChannel-Shopping-Oct2013It’s become fairly well accepted that consumers are using a variety of online and offline sources to make purchases, but it’s worth remembering that the move to such “omni-channel” shopping isn’t consistent across all shopping categories. A new study from GfK serves as a good reminder, finding that a majority of US shoppers combine online and in-person sources when purchasing in areas such as consumer electronics (70%) and toys (66%), but far fewer do so when shopping for OTC medications and food and beverages (each at 15%).

Overall, 37% of the US shoppers surveyed said they combine online and offline shopping sources across the 12 categories measured. Aside from consumer electronics and toys, many are leveraging these various sources when shopping for apparel (58%) and home appliances (57%), while the fewest are doing so for cleaning products (14%).

The extent to which shoppers are using different channels also varies by country. The US, for example, which has the highest incidence of omni-channel behavior for consumer electronics (70%), is far above the global average (46%) in this regard. But for beauty and personal care, omni-channel shopping activity is far higher in China (57%) than in the US (31%).

Other Findings:

  • Omni-channel shopping activity – across all 12 categories – is higher in the US (37%) than in the 14 countries, on average (29%).
  • The leading reasons that US omni-channel shoppers choose the in-store experience is because it lets them see and feel products (64%) and because they can get products sooner (63%).
  • The leading factor for shopping online among US respondents is to save money (63%).
  • One-third of shoppers globally use their mobile phone to research prices while in-store, and 19% have purchased something on a smartphone while in-store.
  • Half of the global shoppers have found a product using a tablet, and 42% have used a tablet to make a purchase.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 8,400 consumers in 14 countries.

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