Not only are consumers more inclined to shop (and bargain-buy) all year-round — and hence shop less on traditional “peak” days like Black Friday — but, due to the crowds, they are also less likely to visit a brick-and-mortar store on a peak shopping day, with 54% preferring to buy online.
Henlaw Louw, MD of Accenture Retail, comments on recent research from the company: “Online experience is key: convenient online shopping experiences, including easy check-out and purchasing through mobile apps, were factors that more than half of consumers cited as boosting their spend in 2017.”
In addition, more than three-quarters of consumers intend to either “webroom” (view a product online before buying it in-store) or “showroom” — view a product in a store before purchasing it online. These are co-existing, yet somewhat conflicting, realities which have significant strategic implications for retailers.
Another take-away from the research is the need for retailer pro-activity. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said that their shopping experience would be made easier by access to ideas for gifts for holidays and special occasions, as well as for people for whom they don’t regularly shop. More than half also cited online wish lists as another factor that would improve their shopping experience.
This type of pro-activity by retailers can influence purchasing behaviour — before consumers explore other go-to online outlets such as Amazon.