Consumers have embraced hybrid purchasing channels during the COVID-19 pandemic era. And fewer feel overwhelmed by the volume of brand communications, although the number is still high, according to “Hybrid is Here to Stay: How Multi-Channel Journeys will Define eCommerce in 2022,” a new study from Avionos.
Of those polled in November 2021, 64% felt overwhelmed by more frequent communications, including online ads, promotional emails, text messages and social media posts. That was down from 78% in October 2020.
Despite this finding, 76% of Gen Zers feel overwhelmed, as do 69% of millennials, 59% of Gen X and 52% of baby boomers.
Consumers say they have exhibited these behaviors in the last six months:
- Purchased an item online for in-store or curbside pickup — 41%
- Purchased an item using a different channel than originally intended — 38%
- Purchased an item in-store that I initially discovered online — 34%
- Returned an online purchase in-store — 27%
“The key takeaway from our report: consumers expect their purchases to be convenient, simple, and seamless wherever they choose to transact,” states Scott Webb, CEO of Avionos.
“Elements that were novel just 18 months ago such as curbside pickup and frictionless returns are table stakes now.”
Gen Z is most likely to have purchased an item a different channel than I originally intended — 56% say they have. In contrast, 43% have done so, versus 36% of Gen X and 22% of Baby Boomers.
But Gen Z was least likely to have bought an item online for -in-store curbside pickup, perhaps because they are less likely to own cars. Yet 70% in that group have made a purchase via a social media platform.
“As we look to the future of commerce, the lines between online and in-person are blurring,” states Dan Neiweem, co-founder and principal at Avionos. “Retailers must create omni-channel experiences that are as immersive and personal online as they traditionally are in-person.”
In person, brands must offer “the same seamless checkout and price transparency as they do online,” Neiweem adds.
Avionos surveyed 750 consumers in November 2021.