Channeling Your Customer: “Cross-Channel Dynamics” Report Shows the Many Paths of the Customer Journey

The customer’s journey is no longer a single path, or even a binary one. That’s why retailers can no longer control the channels by which shoppers research or purchase their products. Consumers are increasingly interacting with multiple touchpoints throughout their journey. It is imperative to understand the function of each of these channels, as well as how shoppers engage with them. Forrester predicts that by 2023, digital touchpoints alone will influence 58.1 percent of all US retail purchases. Regardless of the channel, retailers must be ready to meet shoppers with a seamless, personalized experience.

In our report “Cross-Channel Dynamics,” we deliver findings from our annual consumer survey of 1,000 US online shoppers, revealing their sentiments and needs for a successful customer journey. This report takes a deep dive into channel engagement via the web, mobile, app, and the physical store, as well as what current shopper behaviors on each of these channels means for retailers. Beyond our analysis of consumer demographics and purchasing habits, key insights include:

  • More than one-fourth of shoppers say they would buy more if mobile devices made it faster to make a purchase, emphasizing a need for mobile platforms that provide a superior experience. The convenience and “always-on” quality of smartphones have created a consumer that is more knowledgeable than ever before.
  • However, the desktop is still king. Despite mobile’s rapid growth as a purchasing channel, the web is the preferred method for both researching and purchasing for almost all shoppers and thus should not be neglected. 
  • 90 percent of those surveyed expect in-store associates to have the ability to access inventory across all of a retailer’s stores. As the role of the physical store shifts, store associates remain integral to the customer experience. Consumers also revealed their expectations for in-store technology and innovation.
  • Although half of consumers have used apps for browsing or buying purposes, 41 percent have deleted apps they were no longer using. This reveals a significant need for retailers to improve the value of app engagement, because those who shop via this channel have a tendency to be more brand loyal. 
  • Nearly one-third of respondents say that receiving a consistent shopping experience from one channel to the next factors into their purchasing decision. Retailers must ensure that shoppers do not encounter pain points when transitioning between channels—an unsatisfactory channel exchange could ultimately result in abandonment. 

Each channel must work in concert with every other channel to create a holistic experience for the shopper.  Are you delivering the cross-channel experience your customers demand? Knowing who your customers are and how they shop is the first step in the battle to win them over. Download the report now

2020 Report: A View Into the Channel-Surfing Shopper's World

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Renata Akers

Renata Akers is a digital commerce analyst on the Astound Insights team.

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