San Francisco (PRWEB) November 02, 2017
This year, online holiday spending is expected to overtake in-store spending for the first time ever, according to Deloitte. Consumers are projected to gravitate towards digital experiences for convenience, selection and immediacy, but the physical store will still play an important role for more interactive, engaging experiences.
To understand how consumers are going to shop during this year’s holiday season, Astound Commerce Insights surveyed 1000 consumers from the United States and 1000 consumers from Europe who own a smartphone and shop online at least four times per year spending $250 or more. “Competing For Customers During the Holidays and Beyond” found that the customer experience coupled with strong service will be important factors in retailer selection this season, but savings trumps all of the above.
“Our study revealed that every channel has a role to play this season. Brands and retailers have to make sure they can get products to consumers when they want them and how they want them, as efficiency is top of mind for shoppers,” says Lauren Freedman, SVP of Digital Strategy, Astound Commerce. “They also need to figure out how to keep people coming back and away from Amazon, as not surprisingly our research found that the company will play a huge role this year in holiday shopping.”
Price and Free Shipping are the Top Purchase Drivers
Price is the top consideration for consumers when selecting a retailer. In projecting behavior for the holidays relative to current patterns, over 50 percent will increase their behavior when it comes to shopping early for price promotions, looking for coupons and discounts, and gravitating towards free shipping, as they focus squarely on price. The key factors that drive consumers to purchase include:
● Price drives top three “always” purchase factors: 78 percent of shoppers say the right price, 71 percent say free shipping, and 60 percent say valuable promotions are factors that “always” cause them to purchase from a specific retailer.
● Speed plays a key role: The top two logistics features that “always” drive shoppers to purchase from a specific retailer are “product is in stock and ready to ship” (73 percent) and fast delivery (66 percent).
● Free shipping trumps assortment: Free shipping is the number one factor outside of price that consumers care about, ranking ahead of product assortment, shipping speed, convenience and loyalty programs.
Amazon and Marketplaces Will Play a Starring Role
Amazon’s influence continues to expand, and consumers are now comfortable turning to the company for almost every purchase. In fact, 40 percent indicate they will make half their purchases on Amazon’s site. Amazon’s rise has also opened consumers up to other marketplaces, with 69 percent of consumers reporting they will choose marketplaces over retailers due to better prices. Key marketplace and Amazon findings include:
● Amazon’s prices, fulfilment and variety drive purchases: More than half of shoppers rank Amazon #1 for the lowest prices, speed of shipping, and broad assortment, while less than 25 percent of consumers rank brands and large stores #1 for the same categories.
● Marketplaces will play a larger role: Sixty-three percent of shoppers will purchase from Amazon this season, 60 percent will purchase from Walmart, and 45 percent will buy goods from eBay.
● Loyalty programs like Prime drive purchases: Forty-one percent of online shoppers will always make a purchase from a particular retailer given their participation in a loyalty program.
New Channels and Experiences Peak Shopper Interest
While the main focus for the holidays will be on digital storefronts, other channels like social media and brick-and-mortar will also play a critical role in driving sales. Social media will be a leading traffic driver to ecommerce sites, and 66 percent of consumers will still go to physical stores to touch and feel products before purchasing. Here are the top omnichannel findings:
● Shoppers will use tech in stores: Nearly a third (32 percent) of consumers are highly likely to use touchscreens or kiosks in store for product finders, ordering or delivery, and more than a quarter (27 percent) will use VR to assist in product selection (beauty simulation, room planning, etc.).
● Social media will drive purchases: Fifty-nine percent of millennials have made a purchase as a result of a social engagement in the past, compared to only 50 percent of total consumers surveyed. More than half of millennials (55 percent) will be prompted to visit a website as a result of social media, compared to 45 percent of total respondents.
● Mobile growth will continue: A quality mobile app or web experience will cause four in 10 consumers to make a purchase from a retailer. Nearly 40 percent of consumers plan to order more products this year on mobile than last year.
“Brands and retailers must have a sophisticated set of programs, capabilities and customer service in place to grab their share of consumer dollars during the holidays with innovation always on the horizon,” furthered Freedman. “Marketplaces are well poised to continue their impressive growth, but competitors can leverage their physical stores and social media presence to entice customers to choose them instead.”
To learn more about how retailer and brands can prepare for the 2017 holiday season, click here.
About Astound Commerce
Astound Commerce, the world's largest privately held digital commerce agency, combines strategy, technology, creativity, insight and a proven methodology to deliver exceptional digital shopping experiences. Through a forward-thinking, results-driven approach, Astound Commerce serves leading global brands such as adidas, L’Oréal, Under Armour, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste and Versace. Founded in San Francisco in 2000, the passionate team of nearly 700 dedicated, diverse industry and technology experts has decades of ecommerce experience and more than 400 implementations under their belt to address the complex challenges, advancing technologies and unique needs of global markets. To learn more, visit http://www.astoundcommerce.com.