Digital shopping technologies are changing the dynamics of shopping. Some, like downloadable coupons have made strong gains in influencing purchases, while others, like social media, are lagging.

These findings are part of a new comprehensive benchmarking study commissioned by Catapult Action-biased Marketing and conducted by Forrester Research to better understand how shoppers—across all demographics—use and view these technologies, which ones “move the needle” and how marketers and retailers can maximize their use.

The most successful technologies, including Internet coupons, e-mail, online ratings and reviews and self-checkout, must provide three benefits: value, help in making decisions and improved ease of shopping, the study found.

At home

At-home technologies have the highest adoption rates among consumers since most people have access to a computer and the technologies are simple and user friendly.

Some 54% of survey respondents said they “have used” Internet coupons, compared to 46% for e-mails from brands or retailers, 42% for online customer ratings and reviews and 37% for social networking. Social networking was found to fail to have any meaning influence on purchase decisions, although it was still viewed as helpful by shoppers, especially Gen Y. Marketers need to repurpose the tool with calls to action to make it more useful, the report found. (See Exhibit 4, which also indicates percent of shoppers who are interested in or aware of the technology).

“We believe strongly in the power of technology and it’s future in shopper marketing,” Jason Katz, executive vice president of emerging media at Catapult said. “We want to educate brands and retailers about how to get started in this space and foster those partnerships to grow category and add value to their shopper bases.”

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