Convenience is the key to ‘winning’ in shoppers’ pre-purchase research, study finds

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Convenience in product research is a key consideration in omnichannel conversions, a report from KPS, a transformation agency, reveals.

KPS’ research of more than 1,400 European shoppers in its ‘From first look to last mile’ report indicates that customers now use a combination of online and offline research to influence buying decisions before making their choice.

With two thirds (66%) of UK shoppers conducting their research using whatever is the most convenient at the time, fast and frictionless methods across channels are paramount.

Online is shown to be prevalent in the initial stages of the buying process, 69% of shoppers saying it’s easier to see direct product spec comparisons online compared to in-store, and 71% of shoppers stating that they find the cheapest price online compared to in-store. Some 77% of UK shoppers say they often read online product reviews to help decision making.

This suggests that product spec, reviews and price are key considerations when carrying out research online. However, while consumers are using a mix of offline and online resources, a third (34%) of people who conduct research online still go on to make their purchases in-store.

Nearly half (49%) of shoppers stated they still find it helpful to go into store to ask specific questions they can’t find the answer to online. In-store customer service should still be of weighted importance to retailers, as 41% of people agree they have ended up buying a slightly better model than they have originally looked at online thanks to recommendations they received in-store.

“For the customer, having a continuous buying journey across multiple channels, with access to easily digestible information, will only enhance their journey in an age of information overload.Retailers need to know their customers’ research preferences to ensure they provide the relevant choices in-store and online, which in the long-term will improve customer loyalty. By looking strategically at their operations, retailers can ensure they have the processes in place to meet and exceed shoppers demands at each touchpoint.”

– Frank Lochbaum, Managing Partner at KPS

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