During the research we do for retailers we come across three recurring themes: the importance of mobile channels, personalisation and immediacy. Here's why they are so important to consumers:
1, Make it mobile: 93% of all sales are still physical, but the biggest channel growth is in mobile commerce. Very few sales are completed on mobile platforms, but a huge percentage are influenced by mobile (25% in the US).
Clicked Insight: More people browse and then buy on tablets than on smartphones. Tablets have an extended reach at home, are more user friendly and empower users to purchase more often. Smartphones are quick, used more for price comparisons and used for spontaneous purchases. They are increasingly the most important source of influence and information.
2, Make it personalised: Recommendation is increasingly influential. In the UK, aggregators are increasingly consulted during mobile search and explore phases. One third of people decide on car insurers via comparison websites.
Clicked Insight: Whilst online and physical used to be distinct they are now merging. Online channels now interact with the physical world and the consumer defines the shopping experience. ‘Omnichannel’ describes how digital influences the physical world, via new innovations such as Click and Collect and Beacons.
Beacons create experiences whilst in store, but apps need to be turned on. Currently around a third of consumers are nervous about data privacy, according to our wearables study. Location and historical data can provide great personalisation which is appealing to consumers, but it can be disturbing to people who are nervous about data privacy.
To offset this, retailers need to provide the human touch. Add chat and user generated content. Also focus on opting consumers into loyalty and retention programmes with added benefits. Be transparent about how data has been collected. ‘Because you watched this’ or ‘because you bought this’ can explain recommended future purchases.
3, Make it immediate: Click and Collect is most popular in the UK with digital buyer penetration around 75% (compared with 65% in the US and just 31% in China), with 45% of consumers using this delivery method during Christmas 2014.
Clicked Insight: Same day delivery has become a possibility and is now an option for pre 10am purchases. Click and Collect benefits are being offered by digital only retailers – for example Amazon locker. The benefit of immediacy is hard for UK consumers to resist.
If Click and Collect is not available, most consumers want to check availability before going to the store. Google search results can now update consumers on stock within local retailers, but inventory can often lag behind, creating a headache for retailers and confusion for consumers. To overcome this, guide consumers to your website or telesales operation to check in-store inventory.
Overall, futureproof conversion by maximising the mobile channel (smartphone and tablet), personalising content and making the purchase as immediate as possible.