Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

Do Customers Now Prefer Online Retail Because It’s More Personal?

Blog
15th November 2016

online retail

How do you prefer to shop: online or in-store? The answer to this question depends on several factors, but traditionally people who valued their time would prefer the ease of online retail and those who wanted to actually see and experience items before buying would prefer the in-store experience.

However, this comparison between the High Street and online shopping is growing outdated fast. Many research papers are now being published with evidence that shopper attitudes have changed and the online experience is looked on more favourably; not because it is faster, but because it is more personal.

You might ask how an app or website can offer a more personal experience than a store staffed with expert sales assistants ready to answer questions and demonstrate products. The answer is in the data. If you are logged into a store then that retailer knows who you are. They know your entire purchase history, your likes, dislikes, and even non-obvious facts like the time of day you are more likely to be receptive to offers.

If you read the results of this study then it is clear that the Millennial demographic spends at least half of their entire shopping budget online. The report shows that 67% of Millennials and 56% of Generation X “prefer to search and purchase on e-commerce sites rather than in-store” while 41% of Baby Boomers and 28% of seniors “prefer online to offline shopping.”

I don’t think that we are just looking at a demographic shift though. There is no clear-cut behaviour change when it comes to shopping that can be solely attributed to age, and even this research states that a third of senior shoppers now prefer online retail.

Another recent research paper suggests that 50% of European and 70% of American shoppers find it easier to shop online. The really important data from this research is the demonstration that an increasing satisfaction with the online experience is creating dissatisfaction with the in-store experience.

A quarter of shoppers interviewed for this research state that they actually feel “let down” when entering a physical store. They feel anonymous because the store knows nothing of their individual preferences and therefore cannot advise or help with ideas.

Retailers need to create a single view of each customer that works even for customers browsing in-store. How would this work – can you ask customers to log in as they walk into a store? Many customers are used to loyalty cards, or apps that identify them and offer deals after a purchase, so it should be fairly easy to ask app users to identify that they are inside a store. It may even be that customers can give permission to a popular app like Facebook to do this automatically.

Some might argue that we are handing over too much data, such as location, preferences, shopping history, and payment details. It‘s true that some customers will be uneasy with this level of data being passed to a retailer, but we can clearly see that customers are comfortable with this online. Why would they not be comfortable in-store too? In fact, looking at the number of customers who feel disappointed and anonymous in stores, it is likely that most customers would be comfortable with more in-store engagement even if this means handing over more data.

Do you think customers need in-store personalisation? Leave a comment below and let me know, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Blog
Reflections on partnership models

I’m really looking forward to participating in the CCA Keynote Debate later today. I’ll be joining peers from across the industry to debate the importance of partnerships in business process outsourcing (BPO) – specifically focused on Customer Experience. As I’ve been preparing for the debate, I’ve been reflecting on the views of various management gurus that I’ve come across during...

News
Webhelp’s market expansion strategies in the contact centre outsourcing market earn it accolades from Frost & Sullivan

Webhelp's keen focus on agile customer experience (CX) solutions has helped it grow across Europe in an intensely competitive market Based on Webhelp’s successful growth strategy across Europe, Frost & Sullivan has recognised the company with the 2018 European Market Leadership Award in...

News
Gobeyond merges with OEE consulting creating a customer experience leader

Webhelp, Europe’s BPO industry leader, accelerates differentiation with new consulting investment KKR backed Webhelp today announces the acquisition of OEE Consulting and its merger with gobeyond to create an industry leading customer experience (CX) transformation services business with...

Whitepaper
B2B Marketplaces are blossoming

Following our publication last year of " The Spring of B2B Marketplaces ": it is time to look back and to answer these questions: has there been some movement in the market? Have B2B players evolved in their marketplace business models? Is launching a new market observatory worthwhile? The answers...

Case Studies
Webhelp People Analytics

...

×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook