NEWS17 August 2018

Online growing in popularity for shopper purchase research

Mobile News North America Retail Technology UK

US – The majority of shoppers ( 87%) start their search for a new product purchase on digital channels, up from 71% a year ago, according to research from Salesforce and Publicis.Sapient.

Online shopping abstract image

The report, based on a survey of 6,000 consumers and digital shopping data, found that marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are becoming more popular starting points for seeking products – 28% said they begin their search on these sites, compared to 22% in 2017.

Despite the popularity of online for product research, almost half of shoppers ( 46%) still prefer to make purchases in a physical store, followed by 35% preferring a laptop for purchases.

While only 18% of respondents said they prefer to buy via a mobile phone, mobile accounts for 92% of e-commerce order growth, and 71% said they now use their devices in-store for the purpose of reading reviews or purchasing – a figure that increases to 83% of those aged 18-44.

The report also found that retailers are more popular than marketplaces such as Amazon when consumers are buying new products for the first time, with respondents most likely to make first-time purchases from retailers ( 50%), followed by marketplaces ( 31%) and brands directly ( 19%). However, marketplaces edge over retailers for repeat purchases, taking 47%, compared to 34% from retailers and 20% of repeat purchases made via brands themselves.

Values proved to be important for retailers and brands, with 45% of shoppers claiming they would be more likely to buy if the brand donates to charity alongside their purchase.  

Personalisation and customisation also help to drive growth for retailers; the report found that over half ( 59%) are more likely to buy from brands offering customized products, while 6% of e-commerce visits that included interaction with AI-led product recommendations account for 37% of revenue. However, 64% of shoppers said they feel retailers don't truly know them.

The ‘Shopper-First Retailing’ report draws on a survey of 6,000 consumers across six countries (the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, France and the UK), digital shopping behaviour from 500 million shoppers (provided by the Salesforce Shopping Index’s Commerce Cloud platform for Q1 2018 ) 1.4bn e-commerce visits and data from 200m customer service cases from Salesforce Service Cloud. It includes data from mystery shopping assessments of 70 stores in New York, London and San Francisco.