We identified three key strategies for retailers to engage from Bigcommerce's 2023 Omnichannel Commerce Report: Where to Engage Today’s Shoppers.
Since 2020 forced brands online, there has been lots of speculation on whether in store shopping would make its comeback. 2023 has reigned in a new era of omnichannel shopping where click and collect has steadily made its way as one of the most popular shopping channels as shoppers embrace a hybrid shopping model that prioritises convenience.
BigCommerce’s 2023 Omnichannel Commerce Report: Where to Engage Today’s Shoppers offers insight into how brands can more effectively engage shoppers across online and offline channels. Different categories are championing each purchasing channel and the report breaks down why and how customers shopping behaviours differ based on product categories, convenience, and a variety of other factors throughout the buying journey.
The report compares current versus previous years’ data about shopper purchasing habits to highlight evolving trends and changes. We have analysed the data and highlighted some key takeaways from the report to help you identify key areas to engage your shoppers.
Fashion is championing the in store comeback — and also omnichannel commerce
Fashion has held the top spot for two years as the product category purchased most across sales channels. It tops the list for the most preferred product category to purchase from multichannel retailers at 55 percent, and at 26 percent for those who prefer pure-play retail.
The report found that as fashion is consistently one of the categories with the most returns, it comes as little surprise that shoppers would prefer the flexibility that omnichannel retailers offer with re-fitting, replacing, and refunding fashion items in-store offering a significant experiential advantage.
79 percent of shoppers say they’ll purchase more from a multichannel retailer when they can return items in-store. Similarly, 78 percent of consumers will increase their spending at stores offering click and collect options.
Lockdown habits die hard
While fashion performs best in the omnichannel realm, pure-play retailers have a different champion of the channel. Beauty products top the list for preferred purchases from a pure-play retailer at 32 percent, just beating out electronics (31 percent), and health products (29 percent). The report notes that surges in those categories came as a result of covid lockdowns when shoppers sought self care, medication, and set up their homes as workplaces, and the preference for the pure-play channels has seemingly stuck.
The convenience and speed of online shopping in that period also changed customer expectations. As delays and disruptions continue to plague Australian delivery networks, and people return to their busy lives, no longer able to greet deliveries with ease, customers are turning to omnichannel retailers for convenient and fast order fulfilment.
At 67 percent, around two-thirds of consumers say shipping direct-to-store encourages them to buy more from multichannel retailers, with same-day click-and-collect from stores also a major driver at 62 percent.
Social media is key for all channels
In-store shoppers still use social media like online shoppers; hence, the influence of this key marketing and sales channel should not be overlooked.
Even as Gen Z denounces the social media, shoppers are still using Facebook with 82 percent of those surveyed engaging with the platform. 55 percent of shoppers have been swayed to make purchases from Facebook’s influence. Instagram has increased in popularity by 4 percent and takes second place for most engaged platform at 53 percent, with 31.3 percent of users encouraged by the Meta-owned app to make a purchase. TikTok continues to grow its engagement — now up to 19 percent — with a 4 percent increase over 2022, while Pinterest has fallen out of favour with a 4 percent decrease from 2022.
Sponsored posts carry the most weight on these platforms; 47 percent of shoppers said paid social posts have encouraged them to make an online purchase in 2023 while organic posts encouraged only 26 percent. The impact of influencer and celebrity endorsements has increased 3 percent YoY with 15 percent encouraged by their postings to make a purchase, a marketing opportunity that continues to grow as social media evolves.
Find out everything you need to know about engaging today’s customers in BigCommerce’s 2023 Omnichannel Commerce Report: Where to Engage Today’s Shoppers, available to download for free here.