While multi-channel consumers spend nearly twice as much as their single channel counterparts on average, they are also more likely to purchase from multiple providers, according to a new study from Opinion Research Corporation, an infoUSA company (NASDAQ:IUSA). Consumers who use more than a single channel to interact with an organization – for example, shopping online as well as in a company’s store – also tend to spend more than those who rely on only one channel.
“Multi-channel retailing is growing at a rate of approximately 30% a year in transaction value,” said Jill Glathar, Ph.D., Vice President and Director of the Market Planning and Development Practice at Opinion Research Corporation US. “Multi-channel customers are often the most astute about pricing, and as such, may not be the most loyal. Successfully implementing a multi-channel strategy to retain them requires an understanding of the behavior and attitude of this savvier type of customer.” This means that companies may now have to do more to keep such consumers, which can add additional costs in marketing and/or customer service.
The research also indicated that internet shopping will continue to grow, with 65% of respondents expecting to make a web-based purchase in the future, vs. 42% who use this channel now. This suggests that the internet will continue its transition from a research or browsing tool to more of an actual selling channel. Somewhat surprisingly, telephone shopping will also continue to rise, as 39% of respondents plan to use the telephone to make purchases in the future, compared to only 21% who currently do.
Additionally, the survey found that consumer’s multi-channel usage varies by industry. For example, big box retailers such as Borders and Home Depot (17%); mass merchants such as Walmart and Target (16%); department stores (14%) and restaurants (11%) have had the most success at implementing multi-channel strategies.
“The ability to successfully integrate direct and indirect channels in to a customer-centric multi-channel sales and service environment will really define the market leaders of tomorrow.” Dr. Glathar said.