I'd like to pull some key points of interest for eCommerce online competitive retailers out of the 2013 Shopper Experience Study by RIS/Cognizant, whose slogan, by the way, is "Enabling Retail Without Boundaries." For this study, 2500 shoppers (2000 in the United States and 500 in Canada) were surveyed…. Including a respondent pool that mirrored the buying power and influence of the major consumer categories: Gender, age, household income. Gender representation was 70% women and 30% men reflecting the reality that women, either directly or indirectly, dominate purchase decisions. Baby boomers (ages 46 to 64) also have a lot of influence, while Gen Y'ers (ages 18 to 32) are important, not only for their buying power but also for their influence on purchases made by older groups. The respondent pool reflected income spans of -- $25,000 to $75,000 and $75,000 to $150,000.
Here are some quick (and surprising) facts that came out of the study:
1. Shoppers make less than 3% of annual purchases with mobile devices.
2. Desktop and laptop computers are shoppers' overwhelming first choice for digital shopping.
3. 84% of shoppers chose laptops and desktop computers as their preferred online shopping devices.
4. 42% chose finding a better price online as their reason for purchasing online after shopping in a store.
5. Competitive prices and promotions are the top in-store purchase decision influencers.
6. How many times in Q1 of 2013 did you shop in a store but purchase online?
43% - 1-3 times
28% - 4-6 times
14% - more than 7 times
7. Top factors that influence online purchase decisions
(on a scale of 1 to 5)
4.5 delivery cost
4.5 competitive price, markdowns, discounts and promotions
4.1 ease of returning products
4 delivery time
4 fast, easy checkout
8. Top factors that influence in-store purchase decisions:
(on a scale of 1 to 5)
4.5 competitive prices and promotions
4.3 right product selection
3.9 fast, easy checkout
3.9 quality of customer service
Pricing, promotions, and practicality rule the online shopper experience:
9. Top 2 factors that influence online purchase decisions are cost of delivery and competitive pricing
10. Online shopping has achieved virtual parity with in-store shopping for specialty products, but not so for consumables where stores are preferred by 75%).
11. High delivery cost is rated as the top disliked experience when shopping online.
12. What do customers do when the price in the store is higher than they think it should be?
38% leave store and look for lower price in another store.
21% ask an associate to price match
19% leave store and look for lower price online
Some interesting distinctions between men and women shoppers:
13. Women outnumbered men for price matches honored by retailers in the last three months, most notably for apparel products.
14. Men outnumbered women for retailer requests to match prices in the last three months, most notably in the electronics category followed by home furnishings
15. Men sharply outnumber women when researching products by going to non-retailer web resources, while women outnumber men in reading printed materials.
16. Fun and interactive experiences on social network sites are much more favored by men than women.
17. 18-33 year olds are by far the biggest shopper bloc that does not communicate about problems that occur while shopping in a store.
Price matching and customer service:
18. 29% of shoppers rated price matching by store associates as their top priority for store improvement.
19. 29% of shoppers want associates to have the ability to match competitive prices.
20. 32% of shoppers say the top store associate improvement they want to see is in-person customer service skills.
21. Top rated things shoppers dislike when shopping in a store:
(on scale of 1 to 5)
4.3 prices/promos/discounts are not clearly marked
4.3 product wanted is out of stock.
4.1 difficulty finding wanted product
4.0 store associates not easily accessible
22. Top rated dislikes during store checkout:
4.4 cashier not available
4.3 checkout process is inefficient or inaccurate
4.0 discounts or credits not quickly processed
3.9 cashier tries to sell me more products.
23. Payment Trends:
-- Traditional payment methods still beat new alternatives.
-- Lowest rated payment method is a digital wallet via mobile device,
-- while top-rated options are bank-issued credit cards, debit cards and cash.
24. Top rated experiences shoppers want introduced on social networking sites:
4.3 first look at new products/offers and share feedback
4.3 exclusive promotions and offers
25. And the observation I can't resist: "Simply putting tablets in the hands or store associates doesn't create top-notch service."