Online purchasing behaviour dependent on the item being bought, shows research

A shopper’s purchasing behaviour changes depending on the item they are buying, a new report by software development company Black Pepper Software has revealed.

Research from the ‘Fit for the Future; Is your business agile enough to keep up the connected consumer?’ report revealed that over half (54%) of UK consumers’ buying patterns change dependent on the item they are purchasing.

Mapping how the same shopper behaves in different ways when making purchases across seven key sectors – automotive, consumer electronics, DIY, fashion, finance grocery and leisure – the report revealed that the more complex or valuable the item, the greater number of channels consumers will use, as they validate their decision across multiple touchpoints.

Consumers preferred to buy simple items in one channel: over half (51%) always buy groceries in-store, while fashion purchases are split between the store (29%) and online (24%). Yet, when it came to ‘big ticket’ items, such as buying a car, a quarter (23%) research options in both physical and online channels.

The level of customer service involvement along the path to purchase also varies depending on the buying situation. Assisted by mobile devices, shoppers are more independent, allowing them to research and justify their own purchases. A third (33%) of fashion shoppers do not want help from store associates, while a further 30% of grocery shoppers prefer to look up information online. Similarly, only 19% of car buyers said they are put off by overly pushy sales people.

Rowan Welch, account director at Black Pepper Software, said: “When developing the customer experience, it’s imperative that businesses take a long-term view, as opposed to just focusing on what consumers need today. A short-term view may fix immediate problems, but it can inhibit long-term innovation, where true competitive advantage lies.”

“To truly innovate around the connected customer, businesses need the technical flexibility that agile software development can provide, to quickly and efficiently create rich multichannel and personalised customer experiences.”

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