As we wind down this decade, the 2010s will be remembered for digital disruption in our everyday lives. For consumers, that disruption has yielded major shifts in how they browse for, purchase, receive, and return goods.
To build better shopper relationships in 2019 and prepare for this year’s holiday season, start with data. Shopper preferences are a moving target. Data will help you craft a plan based on today’s real retail landscape, not opinions. Here are nine statistics about the state of shopping today to inform your customer experience strategy that spans commerce, marketing, and service.
1. Half of repeat buyers make their second purchase within 16 days of initial purchase
Across the behavioral data of 500 million consumers, our data found that retailers and brands have a limited window of time to win their second purchase: 50% of shoppers make a second purchase within less than three weeks of the first. To guard against attrition, marketers and commerce leaders must prioritize new re-engagement strategies, including speedy retargeting, personalized loyalty offers, and perfectly timed upsell opportunities.
2. Eighty-seven percent of shoppers now begin their hunt in digital channels – up from 71% the prior year
Starting the search for a new product online is now standard practice, with nearly 90% of shoppers beginning their hunt this way. Further reiterating the need for seamless digital engagement, 28% of shoppers start their hunt on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Marketplaces set a high bar for convenience, so improving consumer experience across touchpoints is key.
3. On average, mobile shopping sessions are 32% shorter than desktop sessions
Mobile devices are a shopper’s best friend — but they can be a retailer’s antagonist, thanks to their shortening effect on shopping sessions. To combat lost sales due to mobile cart abandonment and payment friction, leading retailers are implementing better “searchandizing” tactics and mobile wallets.
4. Brand leaders expect to hire 50% more data scientists over the next three years
Email, social, commerce, service — every digital touchpoint is a rich source of data. Retailers and brands are increasingly welcoming more analytical minds to their staff who can interpret vast amounts of data and form plans of action based on it. They see the future advantages of AI and voice technologies ahead.
According to a January 2019 report from Indeed, data scientist job postings saw a 31% increase year over year — and a 256% increase since 2013. Meanwhile, 2018 searches by data-scientist job seekers grew by only 14%. To solve for this skills gap, CEOs will need to upskill their workforces.
5. Sixty-four percent of shoppers say they feel retailers don’t truly know them
The best retailers are taking concrete steps to fix this and build more meaningful shopper relationships. For example, Best Buy will send a team member to a shopper’s home to recommend which tech products would be their perfect fit – it doesn’t get much more personalized than that. Stitch Fix uses a style questionnaire and real-life stylists to customize clothing subscriptions for their customers.
6. During the 2018 holiday season, average order value increased by 14% when shoppers acted on AI-powered product recommendations
Sure, the benefits of AI sound great. But AI is not a pipe dream. This technology is already having a measurable impact on revenue, as evidenced by the 14% higher AOV over the holiday season when shoppers engaged with AI-powered recommendations. Product recommendations are increasingly sophisticated, too. e.l.f. Cosmetics uses browse and purchase history to curate a personalized landing page for shoppers — their own “beauty profile.”
7. Eighty-eight percent of retail and consumer goods marketers say personalization has improved their overall marketing program
Consumers have access to limitless products and stores at their fingertips. Findability separates the products in shipping boxes from those left behind. In the increasingly crowded madness of the internet, shoppers expect brands to know what they like, and marketers are taking note, with nearly 90% saying personalization is improving their marketing.
8. Voice technology adoption by retail and consumer goods marketers will grow 127% over the next year
Amazon’s retail innovation isn’t limited to its marketplace. The Alexa voice-activated bot is becoming a staple household product for shopping, just as Siri is becoming a second-nature way to search for goods and navigate to stores. Twenty-nine percent of retail and consumer goods marketers say they use voice in their marketing plans today, with 37% planning to use it in the next 12 months.
9. From Millennials to Boomers, every generation still prefers the physical store to make purchases
The store remains the preferred purchase destination for every age group across 6,000 consumers surveyed, with 62% of Boomers and Traditionalists saying it’s their first choice to buy — and 58% of Gen Z shoppers (those aged 18-24). The store is far from passé, and it’s increasingly a linchpin of a solid service gameplan. Just as Nordstrom Men’s, which offers a 24-hour return kiosk to shoppers in NYC.
In today’s retail renaissance, consumers demand better experiences in exchange for each credit card swipe (or buy button tap). These data points can help you get started, but your own company’s data — about your unique audience — will guide you in crafting the experiences only you can provide.