Greetings from across the pond!

Greetings from across the pond!  I’ve just spent the past week in London, where I had the opportunity to meet with a host of retailers — both pure play and multi-channel—to discuss a crucial issue: managing the expectations of today’s empowered consumer.

The backdrop for these meetings was the unveiling of a study that we conducted with Forrester Research in concert with Bazaarvoice, which uncovered some interesting findings on how UK shopping behaviour has evolved with the advent of social and mobile.  These changes have surfaced a critical imperative for retailers: designing a customer-centric vision in order to define a consistent, seamless customer experience, regardless of channel.

White PaperTo provide some context for the reasoning behind this imperative, I’ll re-cap what we shared with our audience of retailers at our London event earlier this week:

44% of all UK shoppers have “channel-switched”—going from online to the store or vice versa

 

Online shoppers are decidedly undecided.  Over half have not determined the brand they will purchase before researching/buying a product online.  Shoppers commonly discover and evaluate products in one channel but buy them in another.  To better meet customer expectations and provide better service, retailers should build towards seamless consistency between online and offline channels.

Four out of ten (42%) of UK shoppers have used a mobile phone while shopping and 16% use their mobiles to compare prices.  (View accompanying video snippet here.)

 

This fast-growing subgroup of the wider shopper population is composed of savvier, more discriminating people.  Ever elusive, if a mobile shopper receives a discount coupon on her phone for the store across the street, she’ll quickly thank you for your time and go. Retailers must provide information that complements this knowledge quest in order to capture and retain shoppers’ attention, the first step to capturing their business.

Shoppers rely on three types of content when deciding what to buy: product details, user reviews and personalised recommendations

Shoppers crave, appreciate and use content from multiple resources.  When making offline purchases, 71% reference store or retailer websites, and 54% refer to the manufacturer website for more detailed information about the product.  Product reviews help validate and confirm online or offline purchase choices, while recommendations have a strong impact on a shopper’s decision process, particularly when they complement information needs at a given stage in the sales cycle. Nearly half of shoppers made purchases that were recommended by an online retailer site.  The takeaway?  Retailers need to look for ways to provide this type of content and ensure that it is timely, accurate and relevant.

To read our new whitepaper on “The New Rules of Engagement: for Today’s Empowered UK Shopper: Connected and in Control,” please visit: https://www.richrelevance.com/newrules/whitepaper/

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This post was written by David Selinger

ABOUT David Selinger
David is CEO and founder of RichRelevance. He first garnered international recognition as an expert in the field of eCommerce data analytics and personalization with his groundbreaking work leading the research and development arm of Amazon’s Data Mining and Personalization team. In that role, David increased Amazon’s annual profit by over $50 million (25% of US profit, 2003) setting the industry standard for recommendation services. To view David's full profile, click here.
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