The convergence of shopping channels isn't really a new concept, but a new survey from consulting company Capgemini suggests that the pace at which this evolution will occur may be quicker than many retailers imagine.
By 2014, approximately 60 percent of consumers expect a seamless or unified shopping experience that integrates all transaction channels -- physical stores, mobile devices or Internet sites -- finds a survey of 16,000 digital shoppers by Capgemini. At least half of the survey respondents believe retailers are very inconsistent in how they operate these channels today. Their opinions represent 16 developed and developing countries.
"In today's complex marketplace, shoppers are in control and retailers need to remain relevant to the digital consumer across the all-channel journey," said Bernard Helders, Capgemini Global Consumer Products & Retail Sector Leader. "The industry should not only seek to understand the technology, they must separate hype from reality and, crucially, commit to cross-channel collaboration to stay profitable in today's tough economic climate."
Capgemini's report, "Digital Shopper Relevancy," identifies six different types of digital shoppers that retailers will need to serve. They are:
- Social Digital Shoppers (25 percent of the survey base): These are individuals who are typically under the age of 35 and use social media heavily to exrpress their sentiments about lots of different topics.
- Digital Shopaholics (18 percent): The early adopter crowd and the heaviest users of new technologies, including mobile shopping applications.
- Occasional Online Shoppers (16 percent): This group tends to be older (56 percent are over the age of 45) and they use Web sites very rarely to complete transactions.
- Rational Online Shoppers (15 percent): The second most active group of shoppers on Web sites, although they aren't all that keen on mobile apps.
- Value Seekers (13 percent): For this group, the channel is less important than whether they are getting a good deal. Almost 63 percent of them are women, Capgemini reports.
- Techno-Shy Shoppers (13 percent): They are the least comfortable with the idea of buying online.
Retailers would do well to consider each of these segments carefully when shaping their multichannel experiences. The infographic below offers some additional findings.
(Other images are courtesy of Stock.xchng.)