Customers are enthusiastic about shopping, independent of where they go to. It can be the Internet shop, the social networks or in the brick and mortar store. With consumers increasingly becoming more experienced with the internet, retailers need a solid “cross-channel” strategy. The search for product information, the sales initiation and the sales incentive often take place in other channels than the actual purchase.
Retail of tomorrow means that one thing cannot be done without the other. While some of the customers are happy to receive in-house advice and then shop online, other customers inform themselves online and then buy in the brick and mortar shop. In addition, very often the Internet helps to find the best offer.
This development offers many opportunities for retailers. Companies should find out how to reach their target customer with different sales channels to gain new customers and keep them loyal in the future. An important part here is the emotional connection of online customers with their favorite online shop.
But who exactly is the customer who buys through these different channels? Roland Berger Strategy Consultants , has specified the following purchase types:
Service-oriented retirees and pensioners who like to spend time shopping. This group purchases almost exclusively in physical stores. They are often not willing to change their shopping habits or learn to shop online. These older customers are often well situated and represent a big part of the total sales.
Mainstream offline Shoppers
This group spends a lot of time on the internet, but buys online only occasionally. They enjoy having fun with friends and prefer to buy in physical stores. Because they are also price sensitive they are willing to learn how to shop online if they can save money. This group is the largest segment of buyers and also represents the biggest buying power.
Simplistic Shopping Minimalist
Minimalists, who don’t like to go shopping. They prefer shopping as easy and stress free as possible at low prices. Because they hate crowds they welcome the opportunity to shop online. Some of these customers are enthusiastic comparison shoppers. They analyze careful every offer and are thrilled to hunt for the best bargain. This is a smaller group of customers but with relatively high income. .
Joy-Seeking Multi-channel Natives
Mainly students, who spend a lot of time on the Internet every day but also enjoy time at the mall. They spend parts of their limited budget on online in physical store sales. They buy in both channels often when it gives the budget. A small but young customer segment with big growth potential in the future.
An economically established segment which has the highest household income. These customers like frequent shopping online as well as in the store. They demand high quality but the price is less important. Very often these customers are very brand loyal. Once they have found a brand that they trust they normally stick with it.
Efficient Multi-channel Shoppers
This group often buys online, because the opening hours of shops are difficult to fit into their hectic everyday life. Depending what’s faster and easier they also buy in physical stores. These customers are often focused shoppers. That means shopping is a strictly functional activity. These customers know exactly what they want and are not interested in other offers.
This group must travel long distances to get to a shopping center or other physical store. Regular purchases are done online. When they happen to be in a physical store, they are open for spontaneous purchases.
Who is your customer? How do they buy, or want to buy? Can you offer the right tools for your customer. Here at Jazzy Jobber I try to find out how to reach different customers in the best way and communicate with them in the most convenient ways.
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, 2013: Dem Kunden auf der Spur; https://www.ece.de/fileadmin/PDF_deutsch/Studien/Multichannel_-Studie_Dem_Kunden_auf_der_Spur__Kurzversion.pdf