Bazaarvoice Research Shows In-Store And Online Are Blurring Together

Online shopping / ecommerce and retail sale concept : White basket for checkout, shopping cart symbol on a laptop keyboard, depicts customers order / buy things from retailer sites using the internet

Bazaarvoice, Inc. a provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, today released its latest research based on a survey of more than 6,000 global shoppers and over 400 retailers.

The report shows that the line between online and offline shopping continues to blur and become more fractured. Most consumers seek out multiple touchpoints toward a purchase decision. Shoppers, through user-generated content, influence shoppers at all stages in the purchase journey, with social media playing an increasingly important role in discovery, research and conversion.

“Not having a robust omnichannel strategy is now a key barrier to success,” said Ainslie Fincham, marketing director at Urban Barn. “We work to make every avenue available to our shoppers helpful in making a decision to convert, no matter where they end up making a purchase – be it in-store, online, or via social media.”

Australian consumer survey highlights include:

  • Two thirds prefer omnichannel shopping: When asked what mode of shopping they felt happiest in, 65 per cent of shoppers said a hybrid of both in-store and online, 28 per cent said in-store and 7 per cent said online.
  • Almost three-quarters of Aussie shoppers use their smartphone in-store: To look at price comparisons (74 per cent), product reviews (64 per cent), advice from friends/family (34 per cent), and product demos (32 per cent).
  • Age matters: Those aged 25-34 three quarters enjoy a hybrid of shopping methods (75 per cent), but for those aged 65+ only just over half (56 per cent).
  • Customer voices power commerce: UGC forms 7 of the top 10 types of research shoppers prefer to utilize before buying: product ratings, written reviews from verified buyers, expert reviews, questions and answers, recommendations from friends/family, shopper photos of the product, and visual reviews from verified buyers.
  • Shoppers are increasingly influenced by social: One in five said they shop on social media, mostly from live shopping online (47 per cent), Facebook shops (43 per cent), via influencers’ Instagram stories (37 per cent), and via ads on Instagram (35 per cent).
  • Online research is universal: Both online (74 per cent) and in-store (59 per cent) shoppers conduct research online prior to purchasing.
  • As always, price point is key: After seeing a product online, 82 per cent are more likely to go in-store when it has a high price, 54 per cent say to check the quality, and 46 per cent said to get instant ownership.

“Consumers are savvier than ever before, researching products before buying them using every touchpoint available, making shopping less segmented than ever,” said Zarina Lam Stanford, Bazaarvoice CMO. “This allows businesses to utilise the voice of the consumer to their advantage. Providing it online, on social media, and even in-store, presents the research materials that shoppers crave no matter where they are.”

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