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Customers Expect Consistent Brand Experience Across Channels and Devices

Customers typically want their shopping experiences to be consistent and seamless, no matter where they are on if they’re on any mobile device. When it comes to the holiday season, those customer expectations are heightened tenfold.

According to a new global study from SDL, 90% of consumers said they expect the customer experience to be consistent across channels and devices used to interact with brands this holiday shopping season. This figure is 17% higher from what consumers indicated last year.

Considering that half of holiday shoppers use their mobile devices to research possible gifts before purchasing them in-store, and six in 10 holiday shoppers do at least some showrooming–going to stores to evaluate products but then purchasing online–brands should make it a priority that the customer experience is consistent across channels and devices, something many consumers have reported frustrations with, the study says.

Specifically, 47% of holiday shoppers have been frustrated that in-store impressions are different from online impressions and 40% have reported a disconnect between the information available online versus in stores. What’s more, the top two reasons shoppers say they are loyal to their favorite brands are consistent, predictable service and a consistent experience across all devices they use to interact with the brand.

“Consumers today engage with organizations through multiple touch points,” Mark Lancaster, CEO and founder, SDL said in a release. “This holiday season, more than ever, brands need to be prepared to cater to shoppers wherever they are as they research and purchase products–in store, online or on their mobile devices. A consistent, superior experience across all interaction channels has become something that customers not only expect, but they demand it; and the brands that can best meet this demand will build customer relationships that continue long after the holiday season.”

Here are some more takeaways from the study:

66% of consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for a positive customer experience; though this varies across generations and genders. 

17% of 18-29 year-olds strongly agree that they are willing to pay more for a product if the brand delivers a positive customer experience. Those aged 30-39, feel even more so, with 19% agreeing strongly. However, this percentage dips with the older generations. Just 8% and 6% of those aged 40-54 and 55+, respectively, strongly agreed with this.

Males and females also feel differently about paying more for a positive customer experience; 12% of males compared to 9% of females strongly agreed with this.

The top three resources to research products are: in-store (63%), online search (46%) and retailer website (32%). What’s more, 20% of consumers say they still use catalogs as a resource to research products as well.

70% of those aged 55+ say that in-store browsing is their top resource for shopping research, compared to 57% of those aged 18-29.

The top three frustrations with online shopping include: Shows out-of-stock items (60%), not enough information available (52%) and in-store impressions are different from online impressions (47%).

Holiday shoppers rely on their desktop computers for both research (83%) and for purchasing (79%). 

A smaller, but still significant, segment of shoppers will use their tablet (31%) or smartphone (24%) for research, but there is a large fall-off in using a tablet (20%) or smartphone (12%) for purchasing.

Shoppers over the age of 40 are most likely to use computers for research, while tablets are most used by those aged 30-39 and smartphones are used most by 18-29 years-old shoppers.

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