He said MasterCard Loyalty Solutions had put together a most interesting portrait of the omnishopper in September via an independent MasterCard Global research survey wherein it tapped into its anonymous aggregated transactional database.
The methodology used centred around the observation of consumers to determine the motivation for their behaviour.
“Areas covered included omnishopper attitudes, the omnishopper in action, the omnishopper and technology, as well as omnishopper loyalty and habits,” said Samaha.
“What came to the fore is that retailers shouldn’t underestimate consumers: they’re smart and confident, they like to do research in the quest for value but they don’t like shipping costs!”
Overall, the survey highlighted that consumers are astute and self-assured; the store is still the heart of shopping because it provides entertainment value, social interaction and the immediate gratification of receiving a purchase in a transaction where price and quality represent value; and that consumers are predominantly loyal.
“Today’s consumer is satisfied with their current shopping experience, they are loyal to retailers with whom they currently do business, they love technology and they research more intensely and shop in fewer places,” said Samaha.
In this retail environment, he advised retailers to focus on the master of multiple channels or the omnishopper as opposed to the channel. “This omnishopper, who is always one step ahead, requires accelerated content and payment methods and offers over many channels,” pointed out Samaha.
Portrait of the 2016 global omnishopper
Consumers are smart and confident.
The survey revealed that 80 per cent of omnishoppers are much smarter than two years ago, 70 per cent enjoy discovering new brands and designs while shopping, 70 per cent get more value from purchases compared to two years ago, and 61 per cent perceive shopping as being about the overall experience as opposed to just the purchase of items.
The store still constitutes the heart of shopping.
Instore is seen as better than online by 62 per cent of respondents because they receive the product more quickly, by 51 per cent because they get good recommendations from merchants and sales associations, by 57 per cent because of the social experience it offers, and by 42 per cent because of good customer service post-sale.
Consumers shop instore for more certainty about product quality, delivery and security, with 49 per cent wanting to see and touch the product, 37 per cent wanting to avoid shipping costs, 29 per cent wanting to avoid waiting for the product to arrive, 27 per cent feeling concerned that they may not like the product on arrival, 25 per cent feeling concerned about online payment security, and 19 per cent being put off because the product is not available online.
“Forty nine per cent of consumers globally cite wanting to touch the product, 37 per cent want to avoid shipping cost and 29 per cent don’t want to wait for delivery,” underscored Samaha.
“That is notable.
“And women and older consumers want more intimate contact with the product.”
When questioned as to what prevents increased online shopping, 49 per cent of males, 37 per cent of females, 29 per cent of people in the 18 to 29 age group, 27 per cent in the 30 to 49 age group, and 25 per cent over 50 said they want to touch and see the product in person.
The survey also revealed that 33 per cent of males, 42 per cent of females, 35 per cent in the 18 to 29 age group, 36 per cent in the 30 to 49 age group, and 41 per cent over 50 said they were deterred from online shopping because they did not want to pay for shipping.
“That is really noteworthy, ie 42 per cent of women and 41 per cent of consumers over 50 say shipping costs are a top reason for shopping instore,” emphasised Samaha.
Craving the best purchase, consumers are diving in to do more product research according to the survey. When posed the question as to whether more or less research is taking place compared to two years ago, 62 per cent said they are doing more research, 34 per cent about the same amount of research, and five per cent less research.
“That is significant – almost two thirds of ommnishoppers are doing more research and only five per cent are doing less,” exclaimed Samaha.
Moreover, improved information is driving increased consumer research, with 45 per cent doing more research because better information is available, 42 per cent because they want to learn more about the products, 31 per cent because more reliable user reviews are available, 29 per cent because better tools are available, 22 per cent because merchants have made it easier to learn about products, and 20 per cent because they have more time to research.
“So 45 per cent are researching more because of better information and 31 per cent because user reviews are more reliable,” stressed Samaha.
For the omnishopper, the survey made clear that purchasing decisions centre on value while research priorities centre on price and product specs.
For 53 per cent of respondents, price and quality are the most important factors when researching an item, for 11 per cent product specs are the most important, for nine per cent reputation or merchant track record is the most important, for seven per cent reviews or word of mouth are the most most important, for seven per per cent delivery or payment options are the most important, for six per cent a sale is the most important, and for four per cent return policy is the most important.
“It is evident that price and quality represent value,” explained Samaha. “Consumers want the best price and not necessarily the lowest price.”
Consumers are comfortable with what they know.
In general, the survey gleaned that 74 per cent of respondents like to purchase from merchants they know and have had dealings with before, while a mere 26 per cent like to try new merchants.
Consumers want quality.
Promotions are only important to 22 per cent of respondents.
For 72 per cent price and quality are the most important, for 21 per cent product specs are the most important, for 20 per cent delivery and payment options are the most important, for 22 per cent reviews are the most important, for 17 per cent merchant reputation is the most important, and for 22 per cent sales are the most important.
Sahama pointed out that there is a significant difference in attitude toward merchant affinity and technology in China, which constitutes the largest e-commerce market.
“Chinese consumers, who are more willing to try new merchants, have an almost ubiquitous use of technology in shopping,” he said.
The survey indicated that 40 per cent of Chinese consumers are likely to try new merchants, past track record is only important to 20 per cent, 63 per cent rated saving money as their highest priority, and 95 per cent use technology for shopping.
Nerine Zoio: email@example.com