Many online shoppers and users of UK delivery services still visit a number of different channels when looking for and buying products, according to new research, suggesting that retailers could benefit from a broad, multichannel sales approach.
A survey by eDigitalResearch and Portaltech Reply found that just over three-quarters (77 per cent) of smartphone owners have researched or browsed using catalogues in the past six months.
Furthermore, just three per cent of people who use handheld devices like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S had not visited a store in person to make a purchase in the same period.
The report noted that shoppers are still heading to the high street, despite many retailers experiencing falling profits from their bricks-and-mortar outlets.
After tracking trends in multichannel shopping since June 2010, eDigitalResearch and Portaltech Reply said traditional channels such as catalogues and stores still have a "vital role to play" alongside continually expanding online and mobile shopping platforms.
Derek Eccleston of eDigitalResearch said the study highlights the need for retailers to "integrate all their customer touch points, old and new" and provide a "seamless customer experience".
He added: "For retailers operating more established channels, as well as introducing new and emerging touch points, it is essential to create a dynamic and engaging multichannel strategy to involve all channels into the browsing and buying customer journey."
Mark Adams, partner at Portaltech Reply, said modern consumers want to "feel valued and be spoken to as an individual", whether they are shopping in store, via a catalogue, online or on their mobile phone.
The research underlined the significant growth of internet and mobile commerce channels in the past year, with 84 per cent of smartphone owners using these platforms to shop on a weekly or monthly basis.
Books, CDs, DVDs and clothes were among the products most regularly purchased on mobiles.
Author: Adrian Medland