Shopper Loyalty, Impulse Behavior, and Data Usage: Omnishopper Perspectives – Part 2

Criteo's recent Shopper Story six-country study dispels common misconceptions about contemporary retail.

Now that we’ve addressed that retail stores aren’t dying and that search engines aren’t always where shoppers start, we’re moving on to tackle the issues of retailer loyalty, impulse purchasing online, and shopper attitudes about data usage. Our recent Shopper Story six-country study dispels common misconceptions about contemporary retail.

Loyalty is an earned behavior.

With retailer apps on their phones and Amazon, you might think that shoppers are loyal creatures of habit online and rarely stray from a limited list of sites. At Criteo, we actually use the term “shopper promiscuity” to describe people’s relative tendency to shop across sites in their purchase journey. Omnishoppers enjoy shopping both online and offline, and novelty plays a role in their selection. While some retail patterns are established, shopping from site to site is the norm.

“In the US, 62% said that they like trying new stores online and 32% said that they often visit multiple websites to compare products.”

Criteo Shopper Study, US, 2017

When we asked people how they shop in various product categories, there are some notable differences. In the US, shoppers on the hunt for CPG products are more likely to purchase from the first site they visit compared to a category like CE. This is likely related to the amount of product consideration, lower price points, and fewer merchants to choose from for home delivery in the category. You’re far more likely to click add to cart for a $15 jumbo pack of toilet paper than fork over hundreds for a new HDTV without shopping around first.

Are you treating your “prime” customers best?

What does all this cross-shopping mean for retailers? They have to up their game to increase conversions. Loyalty can be earned through multichannel programs devoted to it and Amazon Prime is creating new shopper expectations in this area. Why not reward your best customers with things they desire like free return shipping or express delivery? Loyalty programs are also a key step in the process of being able to market to the shopper rather than the channel. Data that can be tied to hashed email addresses is a powerful way to make online and offline connections.

Shoppers are nearly as impulsive online as offline.

So loyalty is tough, but how hard is it to get people to make impulse purchases online? After all, in cyberspace there’s no such thing as end caps and all those tantalizing racks by the checkout counter. The good news is that omnishoppers aren’t always mission driven in their shopping. They’re now as likely to be making impulse purchases online as they are offline, even in high consideration product categories.

“In the US, 54% of CE shoppers and 70% of apparel shoppers say they sometimes/frequently make unplanned purchases online.“

Criteo Shopper Study, US, 2017

The challenge is in getting shoppers to see options that complement what they’d already planned to buy, or get a product noticed among people who might just be browsing. Here, Criteo Sponsored Products work to drive awareness on home pages and category browse pages. Additional cross-sell capabilities make sure the scarf goes into the cart with the gloves or the batteries with the new kid toy.

Omnishoppers accept their data being used for marketing – with some caveats.

The final myth we’ll address is the most complicated one — that people are extremely apprehensive about their data being used for marketing. We asked specifically about whether they noticed ads for goods they’d been shopping for appearing on other sites. While shoppers around the world noted some level of concerns for data from publishers and retailers being used without their consent, they now recognize how it’s being used for marketing purposes and accept the value exchange.

“A significant percentage of shoppers (42% in the US) say that they are fine with retargeted ads as long as they get them a discount.”

Criteo Shopper Study, US, 2017

How do marketers let them down? By showing them ads for products after they’ve already bought them (34% are annoyed by this). What’s at stake? The immediate sale and a shopper’s long term loyalty. Here it’s essential to work with a partner with the greatest volume of shopper data so that you can get it right every time.

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