Cross-Channel Commerce: The Consumer View
By Conducted by MarketTools on behalf of ATG (Art Technology Group)
"Because consumers are coming to merchants through multiple channels, it’s necessary to link those experiences and create a continuous conversation to avoid gaps where the sale could be lost."
Date: March 2010
Type of Promotional Material/Activity Tested: Frequency of consumers use of multiple channels (websites, brick-and-mortar stores, catalogs, mobile devices, and customer service representatives) to browse, research, and purchase a broad range of products and services. In addition, the survey studied consumers' reactions to the experiences found using different shopping channels.
Sample: Responses were generated from a pool of 1,054 respondents, age 18 and older, living in the continental United States. Survey respondents were selected from a panel of more than 2.5 million individuals, and were profiled across more than 500 attributes, such as demographics, lifestyle, and behavioral characteristics. Respondents were further differentiated by characteristics such as browsing and purchasing frequency online, to ensure the sample represented was active on the Web.
Methodology: Online survey commissioned by ATG, and deployed by independent online market research firm, MarketTools, during the fourth quarter of 2009. The survey has an error rate of /- 3% for each 1,000 respondents.
Consumers are using multiple channels to research, shop and purchase.
Nearly one-third of consumers say they rely on three or more different channels (online, in-store, print catalogs, mobile devices, customer service reps) from the time they start researching products and services to when they complete their purchase; Eight out of 10 ( 78%) report using at least two or more channels to perform purchasing research.
Catalogs are a strong traffic driver to the web.
- 78% of consumers said they use catalogs to browse and discover new products and services.
Six out of 10 consumers surveyed say that make purchases via catalogs four times a year or more.
Mobile commerce is playing a role in the cross-channel experience, particularly with younger consumers
- 27% of consumers 18 and older are using their mobile devices to browse or research products and services at least periodically--this number jumps to 41% for the 18-34 year-old age group.
13% of consumers are using mobile devices to make purchases at least four times a year.
- The 18-34 age group makes the greatest use of mobile devices for commerce -- 23% say they make purchases on their mobile devices at least four times a year, 15% make purchases monthly, and 8% say they do so weekly.
Social media is another emerging marketing channel
- Like mobile, the use of social media and networks is currently being adopted more frequently by the 18-34 age group. When broken down by age group, 42% of 18-34 year olds, 23% of 35-54 year olds, and 8% of those aged 55 say they incorporate online purchasing activities into their presence on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
- 22% of all consumers surveyed aren't aware of social media as a purchasing channel.
Consumers often start browsing and researching online, yet ultimately make purchases in the store
- 39% say they went to a store because they preferred to touch and feel the product.
- 36% said they visited a store to compare several brands of the same product.
- 22% said they opted for the store because they needed the product immediately.
Take-Away: "On average, more than three-quarters of consumers are using two or more channels to browse, research, and purchase products. Because consumers are coming to merchants through multiple channels, it’s necessary to link those experiences and create a continuous conversation to avoid gaps where the sale could be lost. Merchants don’t have to necessarily serve up the identical experience in each channel, but rather optimize and connect channel interactions to deliver consistent brand experiences."
Complexity rating of original source: 1 (Complex statistical analysis scale: 1= none, 2= moderate, 3 = difficult)
Source: ATG's Cross-Channel Commerce: The Consumer View