Do you ask Alexa from your smart speaker to purchase items for you? Research shows that voice-activated, AI-enabled devices are becoming increasingly important for online retailers. They can increase search and even purchase, especially among younger consumers and for categories of high purchase frequency or low substitutability. Rather than cannibalizing other channels, use of such devices creates positive spillover, since shopping is integrated into other, consumer routines.
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The e-tailing group’s Omnichannel Consumer Insights, 1st Annual Survey, provides a “consumer-facing evaluation” of the shopping experience. According to this survey, 84% percent of shoppers surveyed strongly/somewhat agree that they enjoy the efficiency of shopping online combined with the touch and feel of the retail store. In addition, most shoppers identify themselves as multi-channel, with 38% using a combination of channels to complete their shopping.
However, according to Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group, omnichannel represents an opportunity which has not yet been fulfilled. She states that, “significant gaps exist between what shoppers expect and what retailers are currently delivering.”
This survey, done in cooperation with B2C Partners, highlights the expectations of shoppers for consistency across channels:
-When it comes to price parity, 91% of respondents believe that product pricing should be consistent.
-86% would like to see consistent free shipping across channels.
-Assortment consistency is desired by 74% of shoppers.
Among the in-store mobile technologies considered very/somewhat valuable by consumers
-Technology that assists shoppers in finding the exact location of a product within the physical store (aisles/maps may be accessible on your mobile phone).
-Notification via mobile phone that an item in your cart is available/in-stock when you arrive at the store.
-Mobile devices for check out to avoid waiting in line.
The research includes statistics on in-store mobile technologies desired by shoppers include and compares the technologies preferred by shoppers with what is actually offered by retailers. The gaps in retail performance are highlighted.
The article concludes with an Omnichannel Clout Checklist. Some of the recommendations for retailers:
-Consistency should be a strategic initiative, particularly around price.
-Provide adjustments to cross-channel customer experiences in order to provide a faster and more productive shopping experience.
Emphasize the role of the store, and play up its advantages as shoppers use all shopping channels
Embrace both the self-service shopper and those customers who desire assistance.
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Fiona Blades, President and Chief Experience Officer at MESH Experience, David Guenthner, Senior Director, Global Customer Insights and Analytics at Walmart, Scott Johnston, Director of Client Services at Infoscout, and Marty Siewert, SVP, Consumer & Shopper Analytics at Nielsen discussed key building blocks to achieve a seamless online-offline shopping experience during the 2015 ARF Shopper Insights Chicago forum.
Here are the Top 10 building blocks for an integrated omnichannel ecosystem:
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Multinational retailer Carrefour has placed iBeacon networks in 28 of its hypermarket stores in Romania, pointing to the inevitable global rollout of personalized shopping experiences on mobile. This project taps 600 Onyx Beacon devices and is able to interact with the public at a commercial network level. Consumers who download the supermarket’s application can receive customized offers and in-store maps, while the app collects valuable data about shopping behavior.
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Ayaz Nanji, writing for MarketingProfs, presents the findings of a report by Walker Sands about the state of online shopping in 2015.
Key findings include:
-68% of U.S. consumers shop online at least once a month.
-83% say free shipping makes them more likely to shop online.
-28% shop online at least once per week.
-Amazon is the most popular online retailer.
-40% say they would purchase any sort of product online.
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Online shoppers are looking for alternative delivery options, states the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study highlighted in WARC. This is particularly true in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, where 45% of respondents would prefer to have their order delivered to locations other than home. 33% want their order to be sent to a local retail location. Read more »