Dig­i­tal pur­chas­ing

Finweek English Edition - - COVER -

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

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