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November 2012

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New E-Tailing Group Report Tracks Rise of New Connected Consumer

Consumer purchase decisions are increasingly made or lost based on retailers’ ability to connect customer interactions and meet expectations across multiple channels, according to a new report issued by the e-tailing group and sponsored by Oracle.

The report, The Connected Consumer 2012: Evolving Behavior Patterns, found that nearly half (44 percent) of all consumers research at least half their purchases online, a trend that crosses categories from technology to commodity products.

The findings underscore the relevance of the “showrooming” phenomenon in a price-driven, cross-channel shopping environment. And it indicates the imperative for customer-centric, channel-agnostic retail systems and services.

“Today’s customers expect more than ever and take advantage of all available devices to problem solve, price shop, and purchase,” writes Lauren Freedman, president, the e-tailing group. “Retailers must be ready, as control has clearly shifted to consumers, with comprehensive information, consistent cross-channel experiences, and compelling experiences essential for survival in our connected world.”

Key findings of the report include the following.

  • Research and comparison shopping. Consumers expect a robust commerce platform and high-touch store experience: 81 percent of respondents say ease of research and comparison shopping is the number one reason they shop online.
  • Touch and feel. The survey found that 67 percent of customers say the main reason they step inside a store is to touch and feel products.
  • Price management strategies. Price comparison has become a well-ingrained behavior further fueled by mobile, with 80 percent of consumers saying price is the most important element in choosing a product.
  • Role of multiple channels across nearly all categories. Seventy-five percent of consumers research tech purchases online before deciding to buy, and 50 percent say they even research commodity purchases online.
  • Role of store associates. Stores still have a key role for retailers: 40 percent of consumers report that a savvy store associate can impact their final product selection more than a Website.

"We enable retailers to effectively manage operational and customer data across channels,” says Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. "Oracle helps connect cross-channel interactions and deliver actionable insight that enables employees to serve customers better."

Read the e-tailing group report now.

Learn more about Oracle Retail.

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