CE Sales Move Online Retailers Missing Out Because Of Poor Online Information
It has also been revealed many Australian consumers switch to online websites that have rich media content over sites that only offer a picture, 20 words and a price as a description for a product.
The study, conducted by IBM’s Institute of Business Value, found that 50 percent of online sales resulted from showrooming. It also revealed that retailers would benefit by promoting online products that are only sold in store.
Australia was among the countries where IBM conducted their research.
The study reveals that nearly a quarter of “showroomers” initially intended to make their purchase in a store, but ultimately bought the item online due largely to price and convenience.
Two-thirds of showroomers buy from multichannel retailers, the study showed, while the balance does business with online-only sites.
Young, male and affluent shoppers are most likely to showroom, IBM said.
Edward Cooper Sales & Marketing Manager at ClikFlip Active, the Company that is currently rolling out the Webcollage content engine in Australia, said “the start point for many consumer electronics and IT purchases is online and what Australian vendors have to do is work with retailers to deliver better and richer content online. Right now a lot of retailers only promote what they are selling online via their web site; however, in the USA retailers like Wal-Mart are moving to promote every product they sell online with many products identified as only being available in store. This not only drives traffic into a store it satisfies a consumers need for information about a product”.
“In Australia the bulk of retailers are operating with very limited content online–some are trying to sell a TV for up to $10,000 with scant information for consumers,” Cooper added.
While brick-and-mortar is still the predominant shopping channel by far, consumers are becoming increasingly open to buying both online and in-store, depending on their needs at the time of purchase, IBM suggests. More than 80 percent of respondents said they made their last purchase in a retail store, although 35 percent weren’t sure which channel they would choose next time, and 9 percent said they are ready to commit to e-commerce.
“Today’s consumer is sophisticated and opportunistic, navigating between store and online environments interchangeably to meet their shopping needs of the moment,” said Jill Puleri, IBM Global Business Services’ global retail leader. “To satisfy clients, retailers must deliver a consistent, convenient shopping experience across each consumer touch point, extending from the store to online and back again.”
Specifically, retailers must better connect their online and physical stores, blending benefits into both at various points in the shopping cycle — from research to purchase — to build brand loyalty and repeat sales, IBM said.
In the store, retailers must infuse digital experiences, provide store associates with the technology to save the sale, and embrace consumer-owned technology. Online, retailers most optimise their websites for various devices.
The key, Puleri said, is using data and analytics to identify why showroomers are shifting purchases online so that retailers can act and adjust accordingly.