Online Loyalty Through Research
By John Hennessy, Vice President, Concept Shopping, Inc.
A recently released Consumer Preference Index survey from Prospectiv of Woburn, MA – a provider of customer acquisition, e-mail marketing and data analytics solutions – found that while 89 percent of consumers polled said they prefer to make holiday purchases mostly in-store, 71 percent said they intend to use the Internet to research and compare products and prices before heading out to malls, department stores and discount stores.
Along with doing shopping research online, 35 percent of consumers said they will increase online spending for gifts this year, according to the CPI survey. Fifty-five percent said they make their online holiday purchases earlier than in-store purchases.
The convenience of shopping from home or the office, 24/7, is the number one reason for gift buying online, said 57 percent of online shoppers polled. Nineteen percent of online consumers said they shop via the Internet to avoid the holiday crowds.
“Even though the majority of consumers plan to make their holiday purchases in-store this season, the data show effective marketers should use online marketing to drive consumers to their retail location,” said Jere Doyle, president/CEO, Prospectiv.
Moderator’s Comment: Is an online presence, whether offering e-commerce or not, a requirement for being successful in retailing today? How does a retailer’s
web site translate into consumers’ perception of the customer service offered by that business?
Web research begetting in-store sales appears not to be related to loyalty, but it is all about loyalty.
If a survey indicates a shopper preference for research online before making purchases, any retailer or product marketing who is not providing sufficient
online resources to satisfy that customer requirement is not demonstrating loyalty to its shoppers. They are also leaving the door wide open for a competitor to acquire their
customers through superior services.
This has nothing to do with a specific loyalty program but everything to do with a loyalty approach to customers. –
John Hennessy – Moderator