Demystifying the online shopper: 10 myths of multichannel retailing

Offering insight into multichannel developments

While digital technology continues to reshape the way companies & 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 & 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. 49% of survey participants said they use social media every day, but only 12% are using social platforms to shop. Instead, a significant 59% use social media to follow, discover & give feedback on brands & retailers. PwC found that social media is not a major traffic driver to online stores, as 45% of consumers continue to shop in a physical store daily or weekly.

‘Retailers should have realistic expectations when it comes to channels & devices, as shopping trends may not change drastically & social media & tablets are likely not taking over any time soon according to our survey respondents,’ said Susan McPartlin, PwC’s US retail & consumer sector leader. ‘While many forecasts point toward devices & social media dominating in retail, companies today need to utilize their multiple channels to engage with consumers & use social media as a marketing & 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 & deals.’ 

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