NEW YORK, NY – February 06, 2012 – While digital technology continues to reshape the way companies and consumers interact, social media is not replacing the in-store shopping experience, according to a new report by PwC titled, Demystifying the Online Shopper: 10 Myths of Multichannel Retailing. Based on a survey of more than 11,000 shoppers globally, the study debunks the conventional wisdom about online consumer behavior and helps companies better measure their approach to multichannel retailing.
Shoppers today have access to multiple channels throughout their shopping experience, with many resources available before making their final purchase decisions. According to the report, 49 percent of survey participants said they use social media every day, but only 12percent are using social platforms to shop. Instead, a significant 59 percent use social media to follow, discover and give feedback on brands and retailers. PwC found that social media is not a major traffic driver to online stores, as 45 percent of consumers continue to shop in a physical store daily or weekly.
“Retailers should have realistic expectations when it comes to channels and devices, as shopping trends may not change drastically and social media and tablets are likely not taking over any time soon according to our survey respondents,” said Susan McPartlin, PwC’s U.S. retail & consumer sector leader. “While many forecasts point toward devices and social media dominating in retail, companies today need to utilize their multiple channels to engage with consumers and use social media as a marketing and communication tool to create value. Our report finds that the physical store remains the centerpiece of the purchase journey, while devices are used significantly for product research and deals.”
The report addresses 10 myths about multichannel retailing and captures some ideas that companies can consider to keep up with their customers:
“A multichannel retail strategy can be extremely advantageous. The more minutely retailers can identify how consumers are utilizing the different channels, the more success they will have,” said Lisa Feigen Dugal, PwC’s U.S. retail & consumer sector advisory leader. “Companies need a strategy that will create value by connecting with consumers and engaging with them directly online, while providing a meaningful, seamless shopping experience across all channels .”
For more information and to download an electronic copy of Demystifying the Online Shopper: 10 Myths of Multichannel Retailing, visit www.pwc.com/us/retail.
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