maandag 8 december 2014

Unpacking the digital consumer

With Future Buy, I researched the digital consumer anno 2014 for my employer, GfK. The results of this study are presented on different events such as the Ecommerce Xpo of last week in Kortrijk. Vincent Panneels (@20100panneels) attended this conference and wrote a review / summary of the presentation. You can find the slides and his summary below, enjoy!




Unpacking the digital consumer, GFK’s Future Buy report presented at E-COMMERCE Expo

During its first edition, the fair E-COMMERCE Expo didn’t simply present booths of companies active in the e-commerce or digital industry. Seminars were also organized to enhance the offer of the event and we had the opportunity to follow quite an interesting one, a presentation of the Future Buy report, by Bert Hendrickx of GFK. Of course it was very summarized and quickly presented to fit the seminar format (30 minutes only), but it highlighted quite a few interesting facts.

Be consistent

There were quite a few key facts that were presented. Such as
  • Belgium still seems to be behind its European neighbors when it comes to E-commerce (92% of people do think so).
  • Three out of four also admit they already filed a complaint against retailers or companies through different medias
    • 58% through email
    • 33% over the phone
    • and 25% used the corporate website
The arrival of smartphones allowing to combine different medias in one device, had actually one great impact for companies. Your consumer doesn’t care about the way he is in contact with your company. But he cares about the fact that all communications he has with you, must follow the same consistency.
Consistency needs to be applied on all channels of communication. And that is the essential impact of omnichannel.
Also, be sure that the omnichannel approach is coming to your category. Maybe today some categories are more impacted. For example, it is the case for fashion or technical goods. Those categories experience more the impact of pure players (e.g Zalando, Bol.com…). But in the future, all categories will be impacted even the ones who seem behind today (e.g. Healthcare, education, automotive…).

Who is the Xtreme shopper?

Actually, consumers using mobile to do their purchase or interact with companies and retailers, needed to be analyzed a bit more. For this study, GFK took a closer look at the group they qualify as Xtreme shopper. These are consumers you need to consider for the future, as they are young and here to stay. GFK uncovered three key findings
  • Staying away is the new loyalty: A happy shopper doesn’t necessarily come back to your online store if he is happy with his purchase. However, if one has a bad experience with your shop, one necessarily will never come back.
  • Offline drives on experience: real physical stores need to play on the experiences a shopper cannot have online. So far, being stimulated with smell, taste, or touch are not experiences one can enjoy online.
  • Make online more personal: Online stores have many different information, even unique personal information about their customers. So online retailers should take advantage of the information they have in order to make the shopper’s experience more personal and tailor-made.

Don’t forget your mainstream shopper

Very well said by the speaker. Online is here to stay, but don’t forget the mainstream shopper visiting your stores. From this short presentation, we learnt a few key points from the study about online shoppers and e-commerce. And these will certainly bring more fuel to the engine of the “clicks and bricks” debate. In my opinion, the future will be successful for the companies and retailers who still think of making unique experiences of both online and physical stores. Just remember, consistency is key.

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