54% of consumers regularly employ two or more channels before they make a purchase
Oracle in its ‘Cross-Channel Commerce: The Consumer View’ report said that cross-channel shopping is the new norm, with 54% of consumers regularly employing two or more channels before they make a purchase. They reportedly expect a consistent experience across all channels. Nearly 20% expect to redeem the same coupons and promotions in stores and online.
The study, which surveyed the habits and expectations of more than 2,000 consumers in the US and Canada, also added that consumers expect instant gratification in stores.
About 75% said that they go to the store to see the product before they buy it and 44% go when they need the product right away. If items are not available, 51% said they expect a store associate to find an out-of-stock item online and have it shipped.
Consumers, especially younger ones, use mobile as a key tool for shopping. Though 25% of consumers say they fear security breaches on their mobile device, 44% of consumers age 25 – 34 and 30% of consumers age 18 – 24 said they are or will soon use their mobile phone as a payment device in stores.
When it comes to making purchases online, 45% of consumers age 18 – 34 who own a smartphone will use it to purchase products online as often as a few times each week.
Facebook is a Greenfield for launching promotions with new and returning customers, many of whom say they use the social networking site to look for coupons, promotions and special offers from retailers. Around 23% of consumers have clicked "like" for merchants on Facebook, and 20% of those that are Facebook members have made a purchase there.
Oracle Retail senior vice president and general manager Mike Webster said consumers expect a single, personalised experience with consistent pricing, promotions, inventory and service. They see one retailer, not multiple channels. "As a whole, retailers are challenged to move across channels as easily as the consumer and deliver the same consistent, high quality experience no matter the format," Webster added.