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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 11, 2015

Physical stores central to omnishoppers' experience

Technology has made shoppers smarter but, according to new research by MasterCard, physical stores are 'the center of gravity in an omnishopper's universe'.

by Helen Leggatt

According to MasterCard's report, 'The Retail CMO's Guide to the Omnishopper', the continuing appeal of physical stores is probably what is keeping e-commerce's growth of share of total retail sales relatively flat (7.5% globally). The report suggests that consumers continue to favor stores over online for a better customer service experience and a faster and more social shopping experience.

Furthermore, technology is making shoppers far savvier. MasterCard's analysis of their own transactional database coupled with a survey of more than 10,000 consumers across 11 countries, found that 80% said they were better shoppers today than they were a few years ago. Eight of ten consumers globally are now omnishoppers, using smartphones, tablets, in-store technology and a computer in their shopping experience.

"Device proliferation is what has created the omnishopper and the omnishopping experience," said Theodore Iacobuzio, vice president of global insights at MasterCard. "Mobile may be the device of the future, or it may be superseded by technology we can't even imagine. Right now it is probably the most powerful tool in the omnishopper's arsenal, because it combines payment functionality, location and research potential--as well as banking and financial information--in one portable device. It would be too much to say that mobile has created the omnishopper, but it's hard to imagine the omnishopper without a smartphone."

However, according to MasterCard, a key finding of their research is that the physical store is "the center of gravity in an omnishopper's universe".

"Don't worry about this: understand it," says the report. "In truth, the penetration of pure play eCommerce at 7.5% or 8% globally coupled with the fact that digital devices play a part in 80% of all paths to purchase is a sign of the new shopping ecosystem, not a danger signal."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brick and mortar, omnichannel strategy, physical store, retail, shopping experience

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