Salesforce, the CRM solutions provider, has released the third edition of its Connected Shoppers Report, which reveals that British and Irish shoppers are moving targets, jumping across physical and digital destinations as they browse, purchase and request service and support, with 4% of purchases occurring on emerging digital touchpoints that are completely separate from retailers’ and brands’ owned properties.
“This year’s Connected Shopper Report highlights the importance of convenience and the growing maturity of propositions to give retailers a competitive edge.” said Jamie Merrick, Director of Strategic Solutions. “Our research shows that on average, customers use eight channels to communicate with brands, so the nirvana for retailers is having a 360-degree view which gives them visibility of every touch point. Regardless of the channels they are using, the success of retailers still relies on having the right strategy in place when it comes to their product, pricing and service offering. Achieving the right balance in terms of their core proposition and omnichannel approach means retailers will continue to attract and retain customers.”
The Connected Shoppers Report explores these key themes for brands, retailers and online marketplaces, based on a new survey of over 10,000 global consumers — Salesforce’s broadest consumer survey to date. It captures insights from consumers across more than 20 countries, including 501 from the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as four generations — silents/baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers — offering insights into the vendor-shopper relationship regardless of shopper demographics.
The Salesforce Connected Shoppers Report focuses on these four emerging trends in the United Kingdom and Ireland:
- Retailers, Brands and Online Marketplaces Are Battling for Wallet Share: In an era of constant connectivity, hyper-personalized engagement, and new business models like direct-to-consumer for brands, shopping today looks nothing like its former self. Ninety percent of British and Irish shoppers buy from a combination of retailers, brands and online marketplaces.
- Shopping is Evolving, as Consumers Define New Terms of Engagement: Today, retail is more than a transaction at a checkout counter. Vendor-shopper relationships are strengthened when consumers feel understood and special. In fact, 46% of British and Irish shoppers said they tend to shop with a specific brand in mind. The report shows that exclusive shopping experiences and promotions are a valuable way for companies to build loyalty (and lucrative) relationships.
- Shopper Journeys Are Moving to the Edge of Vendor-owned Channels: Other research shows that the proliferation of digital touchpoints has led global consumers to use an average of eight channels to communicate with companies. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, 20% of shoppers use mobile wallet, 10% use social media, and 2% use messaging apps to make purchases.
- Stores Remain Critical as Discovery, Experience and Fulfillment Hubs: Brick-and-mortar stores remain as relevant as ever, with their roles evolving into hubs of discovery, experience and fulfillment. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the top reasons to shop in-store are to touch and feel the merchandise, to get merchandise immediately, and the overall in-store experience. The report also shows that 81% of British and Irish shoppers have purchased a product online for in-store pickup.
Purchase Preferences Vary Across Generations:
Globally, the report found that generational differences reveal clues to future retail transformations as younger shoppers gain more purchasing power. Members of the silent and baby boomer generations are more likely to stick with traditional means of shopping, as expected. However, all other generations — from Gen Xers to millennials and Gen Zers — are more likely to adopt new paths to purchase like mobile wallets, messaging apps and social media. Perhaps surprisingly, Gen Z is not leading the adoption of all emerging touchpoints. Voice assistants, video chat, chatbots, visual search and live-stream videos enjoy more popularity with Gen Xers and millennials than with Gen Zers.
Looking Ahead to the 2019 Holiday Shopping Season:
For the retail industry, the November and December holiday season is the most critical time to understand consumer motivations and buying habits. The report reveals that while the top factors influencing British and Irish holiday purchases include: 1) what’s available in-store, 2) sales or promo codes, and 3) search engines; there’s an increasingly digital mindset among consumers. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, 46% of shoppers expect to make purchases with a shopping app this holiday season.