As Purchasing Habits Go Digital, Mobile Becomes Critical

Digital shopping is a two-way street. As the world economy evolves, the retailers that are coming out on top are embracing an approach that caters to both the in-store and the online shoppers.

“Traditional notions of ‘trip,’ ‘shopping experience’ and ‘fulfillment and delivery’ have been redefined,” states Nielsen's president of global retailer vertical Patrick Dodd. "A coherent mobile strategy should be a key innovation pillar for retailers."

Mobile devices work as a digital touchpoint both at home and in-store, allowing customers to research and compare products or find deals easily. The primary reason consumers shop online is to gather information or find deals.

Interestingly, the channels that marketers spend much of their time on developing—email, social, and online ads—are rarely mentioned as having an effect on a purchase. Only 10% of respondents said they have clicked on an ad or an email to research or purchase a product.

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The latest trends also show that “showrooming” or viewing a product in a store before buying it online, isn’t necessarily pulling purchases from brick-and-mortar locations, as it has its compliment in “webrooming” or viewing a product online before buying it in a store.

Digital analytics firm eMarketer projects that online retail sales will more than double between 2015 and 2019 and account for more than 12% of global sales by 2019. Over Black Friday, mobile accounted for more than 50% of all online shopping traffic in the US.

More than half of respondents say they’ve purchased a product from an e-tailer in another country in the last six months. Consumers say they prefer to buy durables over consumables online, with a few exceptions, including makeup and cosmetics.
However, as the global market grows, products bought from overseas retailers often undercut the prices of similar domestic products.

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