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Shoppers are channel hoppers, data shows

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Shoppers don’t think in terms of ‘channels’ and readily hop from mobile to tablet to desktop and to the shops as they browse, search and purchase. And retailers need to start thinking in these terms.

So suggests data from SalesGossip – an app app and web service that gives its members early access to all the fashion and beauty promotions online and on the high street – which has looked at how its 1million shoppers shop and found that shoppers are hoppers: or as SalesGossip dubs them, (S)hoppers.

Shoppers increasingly expect a level of integration between their online, mobile and in-store experiences but have become channel agnostic and hop from digital to physical and back to digital as it’s convenient and benefits them.

For example, despite SalesGossip being an app and online service, and its 1 million users being internet-savvy, 66% of members proactively use the site to find in-store promotions suggesting they are not hard and fast online-only shoppers.

Additionally, SalesGossip reports that 55% of its members use at least two different types of devices to browse and shop. Just like how they shop, how they access information is about convenience at a certain point in time. Furthermore, mobile traffic is growing 50% faster than web traffic.

Elizabetta Camilleri, Co-Founder and CEO of SalesGossip explains why this means that ‘pureplay’ shoppers don’t exist anymore: “There is only one category of shopper; you cannot split them into online shoppers and in-store shoppers anymore; everyone is on the new digital to physical spectrum. The rise of smartphones and ecommerce platforms has allowed shopper behaviour to evolve and now, we can clearly see our shoppers moving between digital and physical channels depending on what’s most convenient for them at any point in time.”

Delving into the behaviours of its members, one trend becames clear and that is the growth of mobile. Over the last year, SalesGossip has noted an increase of 44% in the number of mobile transactions from 12% in 2013 to 18% in 2014.

So popular is mobile with these new (S)hoppers, that in 2015 so far, mobile represents 20% of purchases made via all SalesGossip channels. In comparison, mobile accounted for just 5% of purchases only two years ago.

In addition, SalesGossip’s data shows a 27% y-o-y increase in click-through rates from mobile, from 13% in 2013 to 17% in 2014, more than double the increase from web, illustrating shoppers aren’t just opening and reading emails on their mobile phones; they’re also clicking through to retailer websites to browse and shop. A huge opportunity for retailers with websites optimised for mobile.

“With consumers increasingly embracing mobile to browse, search and shop, it’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry,” says Camilleri “But it’s important to note that it is just one part of the omni-channel experience; mobile is not a magic bullet.”

She continues, “These new (S)hoppers span all the new and traditional channels so covering off every touch point as never been so important to retailers. (S)hoppers expect to easily find location information on any digital device they are using or a trip to that store might simply not happen. They expect to find online what they saw in-store; they expect to find in-store what they saw in a magazine or whilst browsing on their tablets. A joined up communication strategy covering all touch points is essential in targeting this new breed. (S)hoppers have far from abandoned the high street but they’ve likely done their research before reaching the store and so their expectations are simply different, and higher, than the window shoppers who came before them. Retailers are starting to understand this and cater to these expectations will receive their cash and loyalty in return.”

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