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Multi-Channel Shopping Explored In New Study

30 April 2010 - 09:59 by Sarah Collinson

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We know that safe shopping online is becoming an everyday part of the lives of most people, but what might surprise some are the myriad ways in which consumers are already taking advantage of the multiple retail channels out there. New research from the Complete Online Shopper Intelligence study has shed some light on the reactions of consumers to cross-channel retail.

The survey found that whilst many consumers will immediately make a purchase either in a bricks-and-mortar store or online, 29 per cent of consumers will consider using both options, researching their prospective purchase online but actually buying the product in a store. Or vice versa. And 53 per cent of those surveyed welcomed a 'return in-store' option, which they said would further encourage them to engage in safe shopping online.

The steady increase in the use of smartphones was identified as a significant issue during the study. 44% of smartphone users have a shopping app on their phone, it was revealed with smartphones being increasingly used as part of the shopping experience. Whilst some consumers may use their smartphones to contact a friend or relative for a second opinion on a product (62 per cent of consumers asked do this at least once a month), 35 per cent of those asked would use their phone to read an online product review whilst in the store.

As smartphones and mobile internet connections continue to evolve, they will represent an increasingly important means by which consumers can access information and indeed conduct transactions. The survey also identified that a significant percentage of smartphone users already use them to check the status of existing orders.

Another online option was also explored in the study: collect from store. 77 per cent of those asked said they had, at least occasionally, used this option online to have certain goods delivered to a local branch, with 16 per cent doing this 'often'.