The holiday customer journey
Physical stores key to attract holiday customers
Main focus of many news articles is the increased dominance of online in retailing. However, the holiday joy changes the ideal customer journey, making the store a key element in the experience of a customer. This is one of the results of Deloitte’s annual Christmas survey. In this survey, 8.154 European consumers shared their shopping intentions for the holiday season. We reveal some actionable insights from the results, which have potential to improve turnover in this crucial time for the industry.
Where do they get inspired?
Almost half of consumers look for gift inspiration in physical stores, while about 37% uses websites. This preference is highly dependent on product type. Inspiration on gifts like books, toys, and interior items is mostly sought for in physical stores, while the internet is consumers’ main source for ideas on video games, technology and sports items. When turning to websites for inspiration, most consumers will use the website of Brick & Click retailers rather than online platforms. This provides a tremendous opportunity for B&C retailers to strengthen their consumer engagement and thus establish a direct relationship for future conversion.
When do they buy?
At the 15th of December, 72% of consumers have already completed their Christmas shopping. Younger generations tend to postpone their purchasing to the last days. This provides an opportunity for retailers to tailor the shopping experience in the later period to this younger target group.
Where do they buy?
After being inspired, almost 3 out of 4 consumers turn to the physical shopping streets for their purchases, while only 45% purchases gifts via a website. In non-holiday seasons the website has more attraction power as purchasing channel. As shown in the Deloitte Omnichannel Fulfilment report 2017, outside the Season 65% of consumers favour the website equally or even more compared to the physical store.
The offline shopping experience
In the shopping street, consumers have key preference for specialty chains and traditional local shops – showing that consumers are interested in the “traditional and nostalgic” shopping experience that the store can offer. In line, shopping experience and improved ambience is one of the most important improvement points for retailers according to the Dutch consumers. In The Netherlands, consumers are 3 times more sensitive for a “nostalgic shopping experience” than in other countries. Multinational chains could aim for a genuine Dutch shopping experience and traditional local retailers could use this preference in their advantage due to their small scale and experience.
In The Netherlands, consumers are 3 times more sensitive for a “nostalgic shopping experience” than in other countries
The two customer segments
However, when turning to online for the purchase, consumers mostly turn to platform websites (75%) and multi-branded traditional retailers (50%). This shows a clear split in two customer segments: store consumers who want ambience and experience in the holiday season versus online consumers who want the convenience of the platforms. These segments are also reflected in the channel loyalty. In case of product unavailability, half of consumers in the physical store will switch to a competitor. For the online channel, this is even 3 out of 4. This makes the store a safe haven for retailers to sell their products during the holidays, while offering full availability is a must in online shopping.
Same day delivery
Same day delivery is a buzzword across the retail world. During the holiday season it is shown to be even more valuable. Where the Deloitte Omnichannel Fulfilment report 2017 shows consumers are willing to pay €4.- for same day delivery when needed, consumers are willing to pay up to €7.- to have their package delivered the same day for the holidays. Younger consumers are even willing to pay €8.- for this service. Taking into account that your younger target group also postpones gift shopping to the last moment, this is an opportunity to grasp to boost online sales.
Consumers are willing to pay up to €7 to have their package delivered the same day for the holidays
Omni channel is a must. Even though the physical store has an increased importance during the holiday period, the power of online should not be ignored. The key role of online in gathering ideas and advice stresses the importance of an Omni channel experience. This is in line with the Deloitte Dutch Digital Divide report that shows 30% of in-store retail sales is influenced by digital technologies (e.g. online research prior to going to the store). Retailers should understand that Omni channel is no longer a trend: it has become basic hygiene for customers!
Experience is everything, even more so during the holiday season. The physical store has a key role in the customer journey. From November onwards, customers want to enjoy the jolly holiday spirit in the shopping streets of the Netherlands. Position your stores as centrepiece in the Omni channel customer journey to ensure a smooth experience for your customers, both online and offline.
TurnKey Store of the Future
The channel shift to online and the notion of omnichannel retailing has sunk in with retailers around the world. Furthermore, a focus is re-shifting from online to stores again. Leveraging in-store technology to optimize store performance and create connected stores has become the top priority for many retailers. This is why Deloitte has partnered up with start-ups and IoT players to build a turnkey-solution for building connected stores. We will report back on this adventure soon. Feel free to connect with us if you want to be part of this discussion!
More information on consumer behaviour during the holidays?
Do you want to know more on Deloitte's Christmas survey 2017, or consumer behaviour during the holidays? Please contact Wesley Snoeren at +31 (0)88 2883718.