Omnichannel purchasing on a global scale: What are the key factors?
Omni-channel solution provider Proximis, specialised in the creation of click-and-collect websites, has carried out an international survey of online/offline purchasing behaviour, providing interesting insights on the factors influencing consumers from all over the world: while the French are impatient, the Chinese are uber-connected and Americans favour consistent online/offline commercial policies.
According to the survey, value for money is the prime store selection criterion for 52% of French consumers. Another product choice priority for the country's 37 million online purchasers is buying made-in-France goods. Italian consumers share this patriotic attitude, and prefer made-in-Italy products, while also having a marked dislike for high prices. Italians are increasingly attracted by omni-channel shopping, and their online consumption grew 16.9% last year. In Spain on the other hand, physical stores still have the upper hand, while brand reputation is the factor that is regarded as most appealing. And though 72% of customers have a penchant for impulse purchases, lack of clarity in online shopping remains a major obstacle to the latter’s growth.
In Germany too, where since 2012 the connection rate is 84%, brick-and-mortar stores come out on top. Combining on and offline shopping is by and large spurned, as 38% of consumers are unhappy with click-and-collect, because of the need to travel. The German market however is always on the look-out for attractive price deals. In the UK, the main issue is after-sales service, and customer loyalty programmes are extremely popular. The UK is a very mature market for distribution and e-tail, and there are now more British over-65 consumers shopping online that 18 to 24-year-olds.
Chinese consumers have a special taste for luxury goods, notably from France, and they are super-connected: 45% of the population uses a smartphone. However, according to Proximis, as overseas travelling becomes increasingly accessible - Chinese consumers account for 30% of tourist purchases worldwide - the latter will be more and more inclined to dismiss the stereotypes generally associated with them. The same taste for luxury of the Chinese is a prerogative of Middle Eastern consumers. Research online, purchase offline (ROPO) is a widespread practice in Saudi Arabia (80% of consumers) and in the UAEs (57%), while "ordinary and obsolete" products are ignored.
US consumers are the most attached to the motto 'the client is king', and are particularly annoyed by lack of consistency between on- and offline deals. This does not however prevent omni-channel consumption growing by leaps and bounds: last year, web purchases were responsible for 42% of US domestic retail growth. Canadian consumers are chiefly attracted by product quality. While 40% of them research their purchases in advance, they shun all kinds of aggressive advertising, and 71% of them prefer print to digital ads. The same inclination for quality, and design too, is shared by Brazilian consumers, who nevertheless believe they are easily "robbed" by high-priced items. Brazil has quickly climbed among the top 10 online markets worldwide, though 65% of purchases in the country are still made on an instalment basis.
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