Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are faced with increased financial and competitive pressures as consumers are shifting to an omnichannel, engagement-oriented customer journey. Retailers must provide an interactive digital in-store shopping experience and have knowledgeable staff to greet their customers. Consumers are demanding more interaction when they visit a store.
New research from BookingBug looks at shifting consumer expectations and their relationship with online and offline shopping channels. Featuring an independent survey of 2,000 consumers across the U.S. and UK, the research study sets out to paint a picture of consumer shopping habits.
The firm’s new study, The Modern Consumer, confirms that shopping across multiple channels is now the norm with 73 percent of shoppers researching online before buying in-store and 54 percent researching in-store before buying online.
Online continues to grow in popularity with 37 percent of consumers reporting they do more online shopping than last year. However, stores are still the main buying channel for 52 percent of consumers in the U.S. and 41 percent in the UK.
The research revealed a gap between demand and reality when it came to in-store events, with 68 percent of shoppers saying that they would attend hosted events by retailers, but only 23.5 percent have ever been invited to one.
Your most important interactions
Successful retailers know that the most important interactions with their highest value customers thrive when handled face-to-face with well-trained experts. The challenges of identifying those services, scheduling the appropriate staff, moving more basic functions to the online experience have been serious inhibitors.
BookingBug CEO Glenn Shoosmith explains how the research findings show light at the end of the tunnel for this. “The biggest retailers in the world have already discovered the formula to make consumer offline engagement a crucial and valuable asset,” he said, in a news release. “You do not need to discount prices and compromise margins to get consumers into a store but provide them with a clear reason to spend time visiting. If retailers know that customers do research in-store before buying online, then it makes sense to create services that will make that insight easy to consume.”