This year, for the first time, the majority of holiday shopping will be conducted online, according to Deloitte, with a good mobile experience helping to drive more sales than ever.
According to Astound Commerce’s “Competing For Customers During the Holidays and Beyond” – which surveyed 2000 customers from the US and Europe to unveil holiday shopping habits this season – a good quality mobile app or mobile web experience will cause four in ten consumers to make a purchase from a retailer, showing how mobile is becoming an ever-more vital part of the retail process.
While the main focus for the holidays will be on digital storefronts, other channels like mobile, social media and brick-and-mortar will also play a critical role in driving sales.
Social media will be a leading traffic driver to ecommerce sites, and 66% of consumers will still go to physical stores to touch and feel products before purchasing. Fifty-nine per cent of millennials have already made a purchase as a result of a social engagement in the past, compared to only 50% of total consumers surveyed. More than half of millennials (55%) will be prompted to visit a website as a result of social media, compared to 45% of total respondents.
Shoppers will also increasingly use tech in stores, with nearly a third (32%) of consumers highly likely to use touchscreens or kiosks in store for product finders, ordering or delivery, and more than a quarter (27%) will use mobile VR to assist in product selection, such as beauty simulation, room planning and more.
Marketplaces already in poll position
The biggest winners are going to be Marketplaces, which already offer a great mobile experience. Amazon’s influence continues to expand, and consumers are now comfortable turning to the company for almost every purchase.
In fact, 40% indicate they will make half their purchases on Amazon’s site and apps. Amazon’s rise has also opened consumers up to other marketplaces, with 69% of consumers reporting they will choose marketplaces over retailers due to better prices.
Sixty-three per cent of shoppers will purchase from Amazon this season, 60% will purchase from Walmart, and 45% will buy goods from eBay. Forty-one per cent of online shoppers will always make a purchase from a particular retailer given their participation in a loyalty programme.
Leverage those stores
“Our study revealed that every channel has a role to play this season. Brands and retailers have to make sure they can get products to consumers when they want them and how they want them, as efficiency is top of mind for shoppers,” says Lauren Freedman, SVP of Digital Strategy, Astound Commerce. “They also need to figure out how to keep people coming back and away from Amazon, as not surprisingly our research found that the company will play a huge role this year in holiday shopping.
“Brands and retailers must have a sophisticated set of programs, capabilities and customer service in place to grab their share of consumer dollars during the holidays with innovation always on the horizon,” furthered Freedman. “Marketplaces are well poised to continue their impressive growth, but competitors can leverage their physical stores and social media presence to entice customers to choose them instead.”