By Priya Ramesh (@newpr)
I don’t know about you, but I definitely find myself shopping more and more online than spending my weekends driving to and from a shopping mall, dealing with crowded parking lots, long lines at the billing stations and a grouchy husband who would rather sit at home and watch sports than stand in front of the trial room and nod his head in approval or disapproval of the dress that I am about to buy. I represent the “low-maintenance” shopper with a fairly decent fashion sense who is more concerned about good quality at a fair price. This category of shoppers is identified as the “Rational Online Shoppers,” a segment defined as “relatively confident online shoppers buying mostly fashion products and electronics” according to a new study released by Capgemini titled, “Digital Shopper Relevancy.” The Capgemini study sheds some light on the different segments of digital shoppers and what factors influence their purchase decisions. You will be surprised how little social media or mobile apps influence the ultimate act of making a transaction. Social media plays a huge role in the AWARENESS phase but E-Commerce sites (#1), Email campaigns (#2) and In-store technology kiosks (#3) are still the leading influencers in the TRANSACTION phase.
I have tried to summarize some of the key insights from the “Digital Shopper Relevancy” study published by Capgemini to help you re-think your overall digital channel strategy. Please note these insights might make the most sense to B2C brands.
How Digitally Savvy Are Shoppers?
They study reports that 55% of all respondents agree that they are frequent and confident shoppers online; 34% regularly use apps and services on their mobile phones to research and/or purchase products; and 35% said they are early adopters of the latest electronic and technology equipment. In all cases, consumers in mature markets were more digitally savvy than in emerging markets. Respondents in China and India were the most likely to see themselves as digital-savvy shoppers. Good to know, coming from India myself.
Six key types of shoppers:
Demographics and technological sophistication were the two key factors impacting shopping behavior. Based on a detailed analysis, the following six key types of shoppers were identified with each category using digital and social media channels in different ways during the buying process:
1. Social Digital Shoppers are heavy users of social media and want to share opinions and experiences through digital channels. They are also active users of mobile apps.
2. Digital Shopaholics are the heaviest buyers out of the six segments through the active use of digital channels and devices like smartphone apps and in-store technology.
3. Occasional Online Shoppers use digital channels primarily for choosing and comparing products and tracking deliveries.
4. Rational Online Shoppers prefer the Internet throughout the shopping journey, but have little interest in social media and mobile apps for shopping.
5. Value Seekers are price-sensitive and have little interest in digital shopping and new technologies. They shop online primarily to find the best deals on products they know they want
6. Techno-Shy Shoppers don’t feel confident in using digital channels and devices and do not see these as important during any phase of the shopping journey.
I can see you trying to identify which shopping type you belong to :-). Understanding where your target audience belongs among the six types of shoppers can tremendously help in identifying our overall digital strategy.
Increasing Demand for Lower Prices for Online Shoppers:
If you want your consumers to buy online from your E-Commerce site or via email marketing, you better consider lowering your prices for the online buyers. According to the Capgemini study, shoppers made it clear that they expect online prices to be lower than those in physical stores; this was cited by 73% of all respondents. Digital Shopaholics and Social Digital Shoppers are most likely to think online prices should be lower. More than 80% of these more digital-savvy shoppers said online prices should be lower vs. about 60% of non-digital-savvy respondents.
Consumer Loyalty Shifts from One Individual Channel to Overall Digital Experience:
Shoppers are no longer loyal to an individual channel but rather to an experience across all channels. The majority of shoppers said they are likely to spend more money at a physical store if they use digital channels to research the product prior to purchase. In addition, they said they will spend more money with a particular retailer if products are available anytime via any channel.
The Internet Still Rules:
Across the three key phases of buying (AWARENESS, CHOOSING and TRANSACTION), the Internet sites remain the dominant digital channel in all the product categories studied, followed by e-mail. 79% of electronics shoppers said the Internet is important during the Awareness phase; 74% of DIY shoppers said the same; 73% of fashion shoppers; 70% of health and personal care shoppers; and 59% of food shoppers. Similar results were recorded for the other journey phases. However, channels such as in-store technology, social media and smartphone apps are not far behind.
I highly recommend reading the full “Digital Shopper Relevancy” report. I couldn’t possibly capture the entire report findings on this one blog post but I hope to have managed to make you PAUSE and rethink your online marketing strategy a little. Are your messages getting the traction they deserve? Is your target audience comprised more of the techno-shys but you are trying to send emails after emails announcing your new promotions to them? Are you promising your client to sell more products through social media instead of promising to raise AWARENESS through social channels? Take a look at the report and it will empower you with some useful consumer intelligence. Good luck trying to move your consumers from AWARENESS to TRANSACTION with a solid digital strategy that makes your customers happy and you happy!