Customer Behaviour

A consumer survey reveals that 93% of consumers would prefer to do their Christmas shopping online this year, with another 69% stating they planned to spend the same, or more, online than the previous year. As for the high street, less than half of respondents (47%) said that they would prefer not to shop in store, this was compounded by COVID-19 safety concerns, with 53% stating they did not feel comfortable shopping in store.

Despite this, the survey revealed consumers are open to using multiple channels to buy retail goods and are more inclined to shop with brands that have an effective omnichannel strategy. 68% of consumers stated that they have been using omnichannel more this year (e.g., buy online with click and collect, or home delivery). A further 71% said they were more likely to choose brands that offered an omnichannel experience. Although, retailers should be mindful that another 39% stated they would be inclined to leave a brand in the event of an unsafe omnichannel experience.

The mobile channel is now integral to the consumer retail experience. According to the survey, more than half (53%) of consumers stated that mobile was their preferred channel for shopping online. With ecommerce becoming the primary sales channel for many retailers, brands need to ensure a consistent and high-quality customer journey experience from start to finish. 60% of survey respondents stated that glitches that happen during the checkout process would make them reconsider making an online purchase.

Richard Downs, Director Northern Europe, Applause, explained: “It has been a difficult time for the retail sector. There has been a surge in online sales because of a strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday push by retailers, but the high street continues to feel the strain. Although, the omnichannel is proving to be popular with consumers. While the data indicates most Christmas shopping will be online this year, brands have an opportunity to refine their omnichannel strategy and show customers the best of both worlds, by providing them with a quality experience online and in store. Overall, the survey shows the importance of trust between consumers and the brands they shop with. Retailers can use omnichannel to develop closer ties with customers, providing them with a strong foundation to build on in the New Year.”

Applause is a provider of customer experience testing. Its vetted community of testers conduct real-world testing for retail and consumer brands, testing websites, mobile Apps, online payments and in store experiences to provide a holistic view of the customer journey. The results are based on an independent consumer survey conducted across the US, UK and EMEA, canvassing up to 600 respondents.

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