Consumers create hybrid trade

Consumers create hybrid trade

In one corner, there are the stores where we like to hang out and test products. In the opposite corner are e-commerce sites that continue to blossom. According to an Ipsos survey published in November 2014, the consumer has decided not to make a choice between these two types of trade.

After reading the Ipsos study on the maturity of hybrid business, we selected the results we thought were the most relevant to share with you:

Nearly one out of two consumers make at least one online purchase per month.

This increased consumption on the Internet is reflected in the overall turnover of French e-commerce. According Fevad (French Federation of e-commerce), total sales reached €13.3 billion in the second quarter 2014.

90 % of total retail business is made in physical shops

So physical trade is not dead, far from it! It is favoured by consumers for three main reasons: it allows them to test products, have their purchase immediately and it limits the risk of disappointment.

Consumers do their research online before making their purchase on a POS

Before the actual purchase, 53% of consumers do research on the Internet. Of these, 60% make their choice on the Internet … and 60% realise their purchase at the point of sale!

There are numerous disparities between different sectors

The area in which the customer journey is the most hybrid is undoubtedly that of insurance. Between the first information request (59% in agency) and purchase of the product (74% in agency), 70% of customers turn to the Internet (only 30% in the agency) for testing and simulations. As for electrical and cultural products, the customer journey starts on the Internet (63% of consumers perform some research and 64 % go as far as choosing a product) and ends in store, at least in 55% of cases.

Certain sectors have less hybrid results with customers more settled in one camp or the other. The route of the client in the tourism sector is mostly digital, whilst for clothing and cosmetics the store is clearly preferred.

43% of consumers choose the Internet as a way in which to give their opinion on a product or service

Currently, the customer journey does not necessarily end with the act of purchase. Consumers share their experiences and their comments, both positive and negative, on the web. Guest reviews are to be found not only on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but also on consumer forums or brand websites. They have becomed “consumer activists” and will no longer allow themselves to be guided by leading brands.

We see that the overall customer experience is a mix of physical and e-commerce. Even if 90% of total retail trade is realized in physical stores, e-commerce is becoming more and more important. The challenge to physical stores is clear: they must reinvent themselves and re-enchant the customer experience using digital tools.