As the internet and mobile devices become more integrated into our lives, the line is blurring between online and offline shopping. In a study with Ipsos, we took a closer look at this "nonline" behavior and what it meant for marketers in the 2012 holiday season. In addition to shopping smarter, shoppers are also turning online for advice, reviews and recommendations - trusting these internet connections more than merchants.
Today, people no longer see a line between online and offline shopping, and neither do smart retailers. This year online and offline shopping experiences are more seamless than ever before - across pricing, functionality, and promotions - making this the first "Nonline" holiday season. We partnered with Ipsos to uncover consumer shopping behaviors that advertisers can expect for holiday 2012:
- Online and offline shopping is blurring: 80% of shoppers will research online before making a purchase this season, and they switch devices to suit their needs. For example, 51% of shoppers will research online and then visit the store to purchase, while 17% will visit a store first and then purchase online. Another 32% will research online, visit store to view a product, then return online to purchase. In short, the shopper's journey looks less like a funnel and more like a flight map, and the lines between online and offline shopping experiences are blurring.
- People are shopping smarter: Shoppers are starting earlier and using more devices to inform their purchases. 85% of people shop for a gift on one device and then make their purchase on another. To do so, 45% will leave an item in the virtual shopping cart, 45% will send themselves an email or link, and 32% will conduct a new search on a new device.
- Trusted connections are coming online: It used to be that shoppers and merchants formed connections offline - a salesperson could spark a conversation with a shopper in the store. Now these connections are happening both online and offline. With YouTube and social networks, people are sharing their opinion on products not just with a group of friends, but with millions of people. 13% of shoppers plan to watch online videos to help with shopping research, and 48% will use tablets to read product reviews before purchasing.