Almost t wo out of t hree people globally are now digital consumers with consumers in emerging markets leading the way in digital purchase. And online is increasingly a factor even when the purchase is made instore. Findings identify three types of digital consumers. The first tribe, termed the digital informer, uses online predominantly as a source of information or research but most of the time the physical buying still occurs in the bricks and mortar store. Underlying that, there are a number of generalisations in that these consumers make up the lower income group, often in emerging markets, spend the lowest time online, have the lowest affinity with new devices and are not very open to involvement and co-creation. However, this group represents those with highest brand focus and loyalty. To a large degree, these consumers represent 63% of consumers included in the 2014 survey.
Making up 13% is the digital buyer. This is where some movement in the key characteristics of not only using online for research, but predominantly using online as a channel for purchase, is seen. Younger, less educated and more often stemming from emerging markets, they have a higher affinity with new devices. Again, this group is strongly inf luenced by price and availability and most often open to involvement in co-creation.
The consumers termed digital hypertaskers, who make up 24% of those surveyed, use a mix of online and in-store for both information and purchase. Often stemming from mature markets, they represent those with a higher income and education. Interestingly, this group exhibits the most time researching online, but the lowest brand loyalty. Coming from the higher income group, they are less sensitive to pricing, quality or warranties and also display the highest interest in technical features as well as social responsibility aspects. They are the cutting edge of where these demanding consumers, who require heaps of information, find themselves.
The best informed and most versatile of the consumers are the digital hypertaskers and it is the growth of this group, the most challenging of the three, that businesses must prepare for. Individuals in this group are doing things in unconventional ways as well. This consumer may well walk into a bookstore, scan the barcode of the book they are interested in, which they will then use to make a purchase online from a different dealer, often at half the price. And, while the physical bookstore has a unique experience that they sell in that people feel ‘clever’ when they walk into the actual store, unless that book is required immediately or that unique experience results in a sale in the physical store, that bookstore has a problem. Using the physical store for research and buying online particularly if it is not something required for instant gratification like a chocolate that is taken off the shelf and consumed immediately, are ways in which this group are using the various channels available to them.
Multichannel retailing, shopping via all available shopping channels including online and in-store, requires the concentration of a more seamless