E-commerce – consistent communications across all touchpoints
E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America, and certain times of year, particularly Christmas, see a substantial upturn. Post-Christmas sales figures recently launched show that shoppers are increasingly abandoning the high street as Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, explains:
“The sharp drop in footfall this December, while sales grew overall, underlines how shopping is being transformed by the shift to online. In the past, shoppers would have exclusively visited physical stores to ensure stockings were filled for Christmas. Improved delivery options by both purely digital retailers and those with stores and an online offer mean many purchases of last minute gifts are moving online.
“The squeeze on discretionary spending also contributed to the decline in footfall. Households had to use their money more carefully, researching products online, rather than heading out to stores to browse.
E-commerce can tempt consumers away from bricks and mortar stores by offering the ultimate in convenience – with shoppers browsing, looking for deals, purchasing and even returning unwanted items, all from the comfort of their home.
When it comes to shopping for groceries, millennials prefer to shop online for groceries compared to the older generation. Our own online survey of 2,000 nationally representative adults shows that 22% of 25-34 year olds say they often shop online for groceries compared with 8% of 55 – 64 year olds.
The rapid race for technological advancements has meant that the boundaries between online and offline have blurred. Shopping is no longer a 9-5 activity, but something that is always on, with current technology creating multiple shopping channels for consumers. Consider the stats: 41% of all online purchases start on one device and finish on another, and 84% of smartphone users use their phone in store
Brands must therefore ensure they are delivering the correct messaging on an ongoing basis across all touchpoints their customer may come across during the course of their journey towards a purchase..It is increasingly likely that a customer or prospective customer sees an advert in a newspaper on their way to work, then browses the website on their smartphone for special offers and coupons (this could be print at home or digital coupons) etc and later orders online from their desktop computer for instore collection.
This means that messaging and experience must be consistent across all possible touchpoints until the final act of purchase. Brands and retailers need to offer a seamless service to tap into consumers’ desires and expectations.