The new avatar of shopping is evident with eCommerce squeezing in stealthily. Though, the online retail shopping is yet to have a sizable chunk of the total retail market the digital medium definitely has an impact on the offline shopping as well. According to the latest Nielsen report, about half of products buying decisions people make are spontaneous and unplanned. This provides brands an ample opportunity to influence and connect people online that could eventually drive them to non-replenish purchase.
The report highlights online elements that influence non-replenish purchases and what are the top online activities of shoppers before they actually hit the store. It reveals that online resources – includes hearing and researching on social media, looking on retail websites, looking at brand manufacturer website, looking on coupon websites – have a greater impact on such non-replenish purchases than recommendation or ads. Nearly 7% of time shoppers recall using such online resources.
Coupons and Promotions, however, have the greatest impact on such purchases. 15% of time shoppers recall a brand through coupons, followed by Promotions with 14%. Therefore, brands must adopt coupon and promotion driven sales strategies to influence the decision of shoppers during non-replenish purchases.
Advertising projected to be as a powerful media to reach out bulk audience. Unfortunately, it accounts only for 3% of brand recall, may be print, broadcast or digital means. In spite of that brands are shelling out a huge sum of money on digital advertising methods. In 2015, global spendings on the internet and mobile advertising is expected to reach $235 billion.
Pre-Store Digital Shopping Activity
With the advent of the internet and social media, the typical shopper’s behavior has been adapted to the time-scant lifestyle. Nowadays shoppers want to make more informed purchase decisions. As they have access to an array of online resources, they hit to coupons sites and retailer websites to look for any available deal or planning tool.
Once again, coupon tops the chart as 59% of shoppers look for coupons as a pre-shopping digital activity. It is interesting to learn that more than 40% of the coupons used by the shoppers for brand purchase are sourced from websites (30%) and email/mobile apps (11%).
Besides, 1 out every 4 shoppers’ pre-shopping digital activity is pegged to explore online offers or manage shopping list. Around 26% approach digital media to compare prices while 11% look for product benefits online. Meager 5% browse through prior shopping to know the nutritional benefits.
The quatitiative study, conducted by Nielsen, was conducted on 18,000+ respondents and captured 45,000+ purchases.
Digital Media Influence across Various Brands
Not all the brands experience the uniform digital influence, it varies across brands. The highest pre-store digital engagement is evident in infant care, nutritional categories, and personal care. Social media sector plays a major role in influencing consumers to these brand purchases. In 5 out of 10 major categories listed by Nielsen social media emerges as the most influencing digital channel.
It is, however, safe to claim that most of the social media engagement of these five categories is driven by Facebook. Overall, the social media titan accounts for more than 20% of social referral traffic to brand websites, claims a report from Shareaholic – a social engagement platform.
Digital Effect on Offline Retail Sales
The Nielsen research though points at the impact of the digital media on offline retail sales, whereas, the eCommerce on the whole is emerging as a potential future market. Over 3 billion internet users are already connected to the internet. Only 17% of internet users buy things online though, the effect of digital media on the overall retail industry is clearly evident from the above findings. Brands who may not be seeing a sizable revenue coming from online sales can no longer afford to ignore the effect of digital media on their in-store sales.
On the other hand, global eCommerce industry is growing at a rapid pace. The industry is expected cross sales worth $3.5 trillion in the next five years. In 2015, eCommerce industry will account for 7.3% of the total global retail sales and is likely to grow to 12.4% by 2019. As a region, Asia-Pacific is leading the global eCommerce growth, recorded 35.2% growth year-over-year.
Overall, today’s prospective digital buyer gradually develops into a complete digital buyer and it is indeed a great digital transition.