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Mobile is creating a breed of ‘super shoppers’ that account for 70% of UK retail spend, eBay study finds

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Smartphones and tablets are transforming shopping and creating a powerful new type of Super Shopper, according to a study by eBay and Deloitte. And retailers need to target these people to boost their sales in all channels, the marketplace reveals.

While most of the population are now shopping in shops and online, Super Shoppers are more likely to add to this by browsing across different mobile devices and making use of convenient new on-to-offline services like Click & Collect. These 18% of people who shop frequently account for 70% of total UK retail sales (equivalent to over £200bn in 2013).

According to the study, Super Shoppers are busy. They’re starting, pausing and resuming purchase journeys across channels as they fit shopping into their busy lives. They are benefitting from seamless shopping experiences as they decide when and where they shop, through features like stock checking and click and collect, and brands’ mobile and social media offers. This creates additional opportunities for retailers: for example, previous research has found that 38% of consumers report they are likely to make an additional purchase whilst ‘Click and Collecting’.

Super Shoppers are also highly savvy, finds eBay. They are 30% more likely to do their research online before visiting a store. The value of these purchases can be up to 50% more than those purchased through a single channel. And Super Shoppers are mobile – being almost twice as likely to shop on a smartphone or tablet – comparing prices and browsing online ranges while browsing in store.

Thanks to recent developments in retailing, consumers — and in particular Super Shoppers — aren’t constrained by geography or store opening hours. They shop anywhere, anytime, in the ways which suit their busy lives. The Super Shoppers are more likely to be 25-44, with an even male and female split, and are more likely to be working and in the AB social grade.

More generally, there’s a bit of Super Shopper behaviour in all consumers, as connected shoppers make the most of the opportunities created by omnichannel retailing, says eBay. For instance, when making purchases of over £100, 63% of shoppers use multiple shopping channels to help inform their decision or make their purchase, finds the study.

In addition, 74% of consumers use third party sources such as online marketplaces, review and price comparison sites as part of their purchase journey. While 29% of internet users follow brands on social media, and 22% claim to be influenced by a retailer/brand’s social media presence. This has implications for all stages of purchase as a similar number (30%) actively engage with brands post-purchase through reviews or recommendations.

The study also found that while 31% of shoppers visit the store prior to making a purchase online, a behaviour sometimes referred to as ‘showrooming’, more people (34%) research online and then complete the purchase in store, so-called ‘reverse show rooming’.

Watch the exclusive video interview with eBay director of retail marketing, Patrick Munden


Tanya Lawler, Vice President of eBay in the UK, explains: “Customers are in the driving seat and pushing retailers for ever higher standards of service and greater convenience. Customers fully expect your store and online channels to be joined up and can have little patience if they aren’t. For example, they want to collect in store or return via the store, even if they bought online. Retailers will be working this year to introduce new omnichannel services such as pay via mobile in store, Click & Collect, ‘order ahead’ and ‘ship to store’, all of which are provided already by eBay Inc to our retail partners.”

Ian Geddes, Partner at Deloitte, adds: “Compared to other consumers, these so-called “Super Shoppers” account for a larger share of spending, use a wider range of resources to research purchases and they do this using a greater variety of channels. Our study suggests that retailers can target this valuable group through a broad presence over a range of channels.”

The full ‘Omnichannel Opportunity’ report, prepared by Deloitte for eBay also illustrates that for leading retailers who serve these lucrative Super Shoppers, they are able to grow online sales in a way that is almost completely additional to their store sales. Omnichannel describes the 360-degree integrated approach to retail that addresses how consumers like to shop today: via a mixture of stores, ecommerce and third-party shopping sites; using mobile, tablet and desktop devices; and taking advantage of new trends like ‘Click & Collect’.

Hear Paul Loft from Homebase as he keynotes the Customer Experience and Journey conference with ‘Increasing Sales Through Engaging The Customer At Every Touch-point On The Omni-channel Journey‘ on day one of the Internet Retailing Expo, March 26-27 2014 at the NEC, Birmingham.

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