Wakefield, Mass. --Ninety percent of consumers said they expect the customer experience to be consistent across channels and devices used to interact with brands this holiday shopping season, according to a global study by SDL. The figure represents a 17% increase from what consumers reported last year.
The report finds that 47% of holiday shoppers have been frustrated that in-store impressions are different from online impressions and 40% have reported a disconnect between the information available online versus in stores. Reinforcing the need for consistency, the top two reasons shoppers say they are loyal to their favorite brands are consistent, predictable service and a consistent experience across all devices they use to interact with the brand.
“Consumers today engage with organizations through multiple touchpoints,” said Mark Lancaster, CEO and founder, SDL. “This holiday season, more than ever, brands need to be prepared to cater to shoppers wherever they are as they research and purchase products--in store, online or on their mobile devices. A consistent, superior experience across all interaction channels has become something that customers not only expect, but they demand it; and the brands that can best meet this demand will build customer relationships that continue long after the holiday season.”
Additional survey findings include:
• Sixty-six percent of consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for a positive customer experience; though this varies across generations and genders.
•Seventeen percent of 18-29 year-olds strongly agree that they are willing to pay more for a product if the brand delivers a positive customer experience. Those aged 30-39, feel even more so, with 19% agreeing strongly. However, this percentage dips with the older generations. Just 8% and 6% of those aged 40-54 and 55+, respectively, strongly agreed with this.
• Males and females also feel differently about paying more for a positive customer experience; 12% of males compared 9% of females strongly agreed with this.
• The top three resources to research products are: in-store (63%), online search (46%) and retailer website (32%). Twenty percent of consumers say they still use catalogues as a resource to research products as well.
• The top three frustrations with online shopping include: shows out-of-stock items (60%), not enough information available (52% and in store impressions are different from online impressions (47%).
• Holiday shoppers rely on their desktop computers for both research (83%) and for purchasing (79%).
• A smaller, but still significant, segment of shoppers will use their tablet (31%) or smartphone (24%) for research, but there is a large fall-off in using a tablet (20%) or smartphone (12%) for purchasing.
•Shoppers over the age of 40 are most likely to use computers for research, while tablets are most used by those aged 30-39 and smartphones are used most by 18-29 years-old shoppers.