A recent Epsilon study (via MarketingCharts) looked at which digital tools shoppers are using and how these tools are actually impacting their shopping behavior.
The firm surveyed over 2,800 people on 16 digital shopping tools, and measured the usage of these tools over 12 channels and 12 product categories. Epsilon says the study is unique because it included questions about the influence of each tool on the actual shopping trip and its utility in the shopping process.
Such questions (or statements rather) included:
- It influences my choice of stores
- It influences my choice of brands
- I buy products or brands I have never bought before
- I make more unplanned purchases
- I spend more than initially planned
- I save money
- I feel like a smart shopper
- It makes shopping easier
- It makes shopping faster
- It makes shopping more fun
Here's a look at which tools are being used most:
"In fact, we see a noticeable shift in penetration toward these more mobile and often more targeted and individualized digital tools. This means consumers are changing the way they shop (and pay) and are going to start expecting you to communicate with them more clearly and directly," the report says. "We expect this is a natural consequence of the impact these more mobile tools have on the shopping experience and on shoppers’ purchase decisions. As we have seen in past studies, the impact that these tools have on the shopping journey of those who use them is at least as great as the impact on the more widely used and time-tested tools. Simply put, consumers are using mobile and social to guide how, when, where and how often they shop."
Impact levels of the tools have increased across the board, the study finds.
"As in years past, our quantitative survey revealed that shoppers use a wide variety of digital tools to help them plan and execute their shopping trips," the report concludes from its overall findings. "Familiar tools, such as websites, printable coupons, emails and search engines continue to dominate in terms of the proportion of the population using them, but strong inroads continue to be made by newer, more mobile tools such as texts, mobile payments and shopping apps."
Beyond the survey, the firm also conducted a series of interviews and discussion boards with over 50 shoppers across a variety of ages, genders and locations to get a better understanding of the growth of social media's influence on the shopping process. I'd imagine that will look a lot different in another year as social networks continue to make their new ecommerce offerings (buy buttons) available.
You can find Epsilon's full report here.
Images via Thinkstock, Epsilon