We are now heading towards the Christmas shopping season where consumers are hitting the high streets and online stores to do their Christmas shopping. This year UK experienced a record breaking online shopping spree during Black Friday sales. Consumer behaviour has changed since the introduction of Black Friday into the UK in 2013. There is a shift in consumer spending habits compared to prior 2013 consumer behaviour as Black Friday is a reflection of people getting more organised and doing their Christmas shopping earlier in the season. However it’s too early to predict as there maybe last minute shoppers doing their shopping during the last week before Christmas, which is a significant factor in the overall shopping trends.
Mode of shopping has been evolving over the years as more consumers are now willing to do their Christmas shopping online as it is more convenient, time saving and stress free. Smartphones and tablets plays a main role too as consumers prefer to buy their products on their way in a bus or from their sofa.
According to the Adobe Digital Index 2015 Holiday Shopping Predictions report, 67% of UK Christmas shoppers are checking prices in-store and buying it online to enjoy internet bargains, given that lower prices and good deals remain the biggest drivers of online shopping. Moreover free shipping has risen in importance as a driver of online shopping, from 34% last year to 42% this year. Product reviews also play a significant role in online shopping as customers prefer to know about the products in advance. On average, 36% of shoppers’ Christmas purchases this year will require them to consult a product review. Social Media also ties with product reviews as more consumers turn to social media to find out which products are best, 43% in this year’s survey said consumers used social media, versus 25% last year.
Omnichannel retailing is growing fast with additions to online shopping such as ‘click and collect’ service, where consumers prefer to buy their products online and collect it from the nearest shop, this method helps to avoid late delivery and items getting misplaced during the delivery process.
With the rising trends in organisations shifting from traditional marketing to digital, retailers’ survival in the competitive digital world alone is not enough, but also should be standing out. Therefore integration becomes an important aspect in order to understand how digital integrates with other channels. This isn’t something that happens overnight, it requires a long-term strategy with the retailer’s web development providers and other IT platforms in order to cope up with the demand.