I recently attended a Brick Meets Click webinar sponsored by Unata on the 2017 Online Shopping Forecast. The panel from Unata and Brick Meets Click reviewed their finding from a survey of 500 consumers to understand industry trends and predict what we’ll see in the upcoming year.
In 2016 one in five shoppers had an online purchase, that will likely increase to one in three this year. For traditional retailers that can seem worrisome but online shoppers aren’t abandoning stores, their digital purchases are value adds to their typical shopping trip. Additionally, shopping online can create a new type of loyal customer, 80% of online shoppers are repeat consumers. The online shopper spans many demographics and can represent a significant increase in sales for your store.
While we expect continued growth in the upcoming year online shopping is still a differentiator and stores offering the service are better poised for success with changing consumer trends. As a differentiator we will see customers willing to change their preferred shopping location to one with online capabilities. As with any new service offering it is imperative to tell your consumers if you offer online shopping. 41% of shoppers surveyed didn’t know if their stores offered online shopping. When you build your marketing strategy think outside of your typical promotion methods by including information on your website, social media, direct-to-consumer emails, and especially through educating your employees. Your employees being able to explain the features and benefits of an online shopping program can personally encourage shoppers to try the new system. Getting customers to your online shopping site is the first step, you have to delight them with the experience from beginning to end. 68% of shoppers would switch providers for a better experience. The key here is treating your online shopping site exactly like your brick & mortar store, craft the customer experience with the same level of care.
When developing your program, understand what your customers want:
- Easy to find products and deals
- Personalized offers, sales, product suggestions
- Inclusion of your weekly ad
- Access to digital coupons
- Timeframes that meet their needs like same day pick up
As with any addition to the services you offer your customer spend time understanding their needs and how you can best meet them. Digital shoppers are impatient and delivering on the experience is key, ensure you have the time and resources to devote to the project to make it successful. Online shopping brings in incremental value in basket size but the value it brings in customer satisfaction is truly immeasurable.