Paper Print Prevails For Purchases

According to a recent Baynote study with the e-tailing group, analyzing consumer behavior across various retail channels during the 2012 holiday season, paper catalogs influenced twice as many consumers as both Pinterest and Twitter for both in-store and online purchases. Paper catalogs influenced 81.9% more in-store purchases and 42.9% more online purchases than Facebook. Social platforms were most influential to consumers between the ages of 25 and 34, while paper catalogs were most influential among consumers 45 years and older.

Dan Darnell, VP of Marketing, Baynote, opines that “... as the lines between (social and print) start to blur... all forms of marketing... is key to creating a seamless experience across (media and generational) touch points... ”

The 3rd Annual Holiday Online Shopping Survey. was designed to gain insight into consumer behavior and key buying influencers across various retail channels, including physical stores, eCommerce websites, social networks, tablets and mobile devices. The influence of social media platforms on holiday shoppers paled in comparison to the time-tested paper catalog, concludes the report.

Consumer preference for tablets was most pronounced when browsing websites in search of products to purchase; while 40% of tablet owners (or 21.9% of all respondents) used their device for browsing, only 28.4% used their smartphone. The study also found that consumers are starting to rely more heavily on tablets to perform tasks typically associated with smartphones such as conducting product research in stores and searching for coupons.

According to Darnell, “... tablets may be the dominant mobile shopping tool for consumers from their couch or in the store for the foreseeable future... ”

23% of respondents made at least one purchase using a mobile app on either their smartphone or tablet. Consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 were most likely to make a purchase using a mobile app, with an average of 32% doing so. Conversely, consumers 45 and older were least likely, with an average of 14.1% using an app to make a purchase.

Online marketing had a greater influence on online purchases than in-store purchases, though the difference was minor. Online ratings and reviews influenced 24.1% of in-store purchases while influencing 32.9% of online purchases. Twitter proved more influential for in-store purchases while Facebook and Pinterest were more influential for online purchases.

Darnell said, “... Consumers are increasingly multi-device and multi-channel as they browse and buy... “

Consumer concerns over privacy did not significantly alter buying behavior. The survey found:

  • 64.5% of respondents were concerned with privacy when using a smartphone
  • 55.3% with personal computers
  • 42.1% with tablets.  

Only 15.3% of respondents abandoned their smartphones due to privacy concerns:

  • 12.3% abandoned their personal computer
  • 10.7% abandoned their tablet

The survey was administered to 1,000 consumers from Cyber Monday to Dec. 5, 2012. All respondents owned smartphones, and 54.6% owned tablets and were equally divided between male and female respondents. Only consumers who made four or more purchases and spent over $250 completed the survey.

For more detailed analysis of the data and to view the associated infographic, visit Baynote here.

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