DigitasLBi's 2015 Connected Commerce study reveals what consumers want: multi-screen experiences, personalisation and social shopping

Connected Commerce.jpgDigitasLBi's 2015 Connected Commerce study of retail trends reveals a significant rise in the use of connected devices, including wearables, and an increase in social commerce; urges retailers to personalise the shopping experience in order to boost sales

Shoppers around the world now expect omnichannel, multi-screen experiences from brands and retailers, with the average global consumer using a total of five devices when making a purchase - a significant increase from the 2.8 devices reported in 2014. This is according to DigitasLBi's 2015 Connected Commerce study of the latest retail trends across 17 countries including Australia, China, India, Japan, the UK and the USA.
As well as computers, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, consumers are rapidly embracing wearable technologies, with 17% of shoppers revealing that they now own a wearable device - a figure that is likely to rise with the launch of Apple Watch and similar devices with the potential to offer new in-store experiences.

DigitasLBi's Connected Commerce study also shows that in 2015 shoppers are increasingly comfortable going beyond the traditional e-commerce experience to embrace mobile commerce with 68% of Chinese respondents saying they have made a mobile purchase in the last 30 days.

Products and services that allow this new breed of connected consumer to act on impulse are also proving popular. The survey shows that in-store pick-up is becoming a particular favourite of shoppers, with 51% taking advantage of 'click and collect' services globally.

"Customers want to save time and money whilst being able to choose from more ways to shop than ever before. Mobile is now the platform of choice for shoppers, with nearly 90% of those surveyed regionally stating that using the device to compare prices has changed the way they shop." says Roy Capon, APAC CEO of DigitasLBi. "We also know that 56% of smartphone users would be happy to use their devices to pay in-store. With the launch of Apple Pay and the growing number of start-ups in the in-store payment arena both globally and specifically in Asia, 2015 could well be the year of mobile payment.

According to DigitasLBi's Connected Commerce survey, personalising the shopping experience is the surest way to the consumer's pocket. 83% of Hong Kong respondents claim they buy more and/or more often when met with personalised retail experiences. A further 27% actively look for personalised offers when shopping online and 75% log in to e-commerce websites that cater for their personal preferences based on previous behaviour.

The demand for personalisation goes beyond the online experience, with 86% of shoppers admitting they are more likely to embrace new in-store technologies such as GPS and WiFi tracking if they receive customised benefits in return, such as personalised money-off vouchers.

"Personalising the shopping experience and tailoring it to the needs of individual shoppers is a sure-fire way to attract more customers and boost profits both online and in-store", says Capon. "But we are just at the start of this journey. The in-store experience needs to become more agile, more digital and more connected. Retailers need to get smarter about using data in order to personalise the shopping experience to increase sales performance."

DigitasLBi's Connected Commerce study shows that social media is influencing an increasing number of purchases both on and off-line. Overall Facebook is leading the way with 67% of Hong Kong users now admitting that the social network impacts the way they shop. This compares to 62% for YouTube, 41% for Instagram, 27% for Twitter and 60% for Weibo China.

Social shopping is also rapidly gaining traction, with 40% of Hong Kong and up to 51% of Chinese consumers claiming to have purchased an item directly via a social media platform.

DigitasLBi's Connected Commerce survey is now in its fourth year. The study covers a total of 17 countries, up from 12 last year. Countries taking part are Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UAE, the UK and the USA. The 2015 survey was conducted online by IFOP from March 5th to March 25th, 2015 with a sample size of 1,000 web users per country aged 18 and over using the quota method (gender, age, income or social profile and region).

Following the rapid growth of omnichannel commerce, DigitasLBi recently launched DigitasLBi Commerce - a next-generation connected commerce offering designed to help businesses thrive in the omnichannel world. DigitasLBi Commerce specialises in digital commerce implementation, systems integration, application support and managed services. These skills sit alongside DigitasLBi's core brand building, experience design, content creation and distribution capabilities to create a world-leading connected commerce offering. DigitasLBi Commerce was recently named 'Global Service Delivery Partner of the Year' at the prestigious annual hybris Global Partner Awards.

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