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Report: Merge physical and digital channels to better target shoppers


To step up customer-centricity efforts, retailers must use channels in tandem if they want to deliver personalized experiences.

This was according to "Shopper-First Retailing: What Consumers Are Telling us About the Future of Shopping,” a report from SapientRazorfish, part of Publicis.Sapient. The study is comprised of three sources: shopping activity of more than 300 million shoppers worldwide; the preferences and motivations of 6,000 shoppers across six countries, and 27 interviews with retail experts in technology and customer experience.

Retailers struggle with a rapidly evolving set of customer shopping habits, especially as connected customers shop the apparel, housewares, and health and beauty categories. By better leveraging technology and insight into consumer behaviors however, retailers will be positioned to create a customer-centric business, the report revealed.

"With the fluid demands of today's always-on consumer, it's imperative that brands not only evolve with the trends, but also anticipate them and refine their strategies accordingly," said Chris Davey, chief strategist, Publicis.Sapient. "Our findings highlight that customer centricity is not only beneficial, but critical to successful retailing in the digital age.”

According to the report, the following four strategic actions will create a customer-centric, foundation:

The evolving storefront: In-store drives nearly half of e-commerce sales. Digital and physical are complementary channels, not mutually exclusive ones. Most shoppers (60%) start their hunt in the digital channel, even though they prefer shopping in the physical channel.

Immersive Intelligence: Using artificial intelligence (AI) to connect shoppers with products. Predictive intelligence on product detail pages is boosting average order values and overall revenue per visitor by double digits.

Mobile: The digital compass. Mobile payment options continue to boost conversions. Mobile payments, such as Apple Pay, were effective, boosting conversion by 27% at one retail partner compared to non-Apple Pay shoppers.

Flattening the funnel: Optimize mobile traffic with speed and mobile payments. Mobile continues to be a massive resource for retail activity. Seventy-one percent (71%) of all global consumers have used their mobile device for retail activity in the past 30 days.

"Retailers are struggling with a rapidly evolving set of customer shopping habits, and we see these new behaviors in this retail research,” said Hilding Anderson, director of research & insights at SapientRazorfish.

“For example, 59% of all consumers in our six-country study have shopped on their mobile device – in the store – within the past 30 days," Anderson noted. "The lines between the physical and digital channels have nearly disappeared."

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