SAP: Holiday shoppers like mixing channels

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Woman shopping online in front of Christmas tree

A new study from SAP Customer Experience indicates that retailers with strong omnichannel offerings will perform best this holiday season.

According to SAP Customer Experience data, only 17% of consumers say that they do not plan to shop online this holiday season, and 67% of consumers start their holiday gift research online. However, 33% still begin their holiday gift research in-store, and 63% of shoppers are more likely to visit a physical retailer during the holiday season.

Consumers are also increasingly using emerging channels to conduct holiday shopping. Specifically, nearly half (45%) of consumers plan to shop on a mobile device, while 25% would consider making a holiday gift purchase via their in-home voice assistant.

Further indicating the blended digital-physical approach consumers now take to holiday shopping, 63% of consumers are more likely to buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) during the holidays, while 27% of consumers definitely plan to use BOPIS this holiday season. And while 24% of consumers plan to buy from a direct-to-consumer brand this holiday season, 42% are more likely to do so if a direct-to-consumer brand has a physical storefront.

Other interesting findings include:

•    Seventy-five percent of consumers plan to shop for the holidays during Cyber Week, or the seven-day period starting Cyber Monday (Dec. 2 – Dec. 8). However, more than one-third (35%) of consumers will shop both online and in-store during the week, because of last-minute holiday shopping and to avoid shipping costs.

•    Seventy-two percent of consumers are frustrated when they interact with sales associates that don’t have answers to questions related to back-end operations like inventory, shipping etc.

•    Sixty-five percent of consumers feel like they’ve given feedback to brands that wasn’t incorporated into their shopping experience.