Leading-edge consumers, the 15 percent of shoppers that are early adopters, influentials and passionate shoppers, are pushing retailers further into the omnichannel sphere. This group has a big influence on trends and are smart shoppers looking to combine in-store with online experiences.
This group of shoppers tend to be younger, more educated, more affluent, more tech-savvy, more connected and more optimistic, MediaPost reported based on a GfK report. These shoppers still value the importance of brick-and-mortar stores as 70 percent said they can't find 100 percent of what they need online, compared to 44 percent of the general population. In fact, the amount of storefront conversions and the duration of time in stores is up, according to Euclid Analytics' mid-year U.S. Retail Benchmarks report
Yet the threat to physical stores' survival remains—62 percent of the early adopter group agreed that traditional stores are losing importance, versus the 45 percent of the general population that reported the same sentiment. Seventy-nine percent of leading-edge consumers said social networks are an important part of gathering information before shopping, and 85 percent display omnichannel behaviors versus 74 percent of average adults.
The study did show that while this group's use of showrooming has leveled off, brick-and-mortar stores aren't totally out of the woods. Stores still need to look for ways to personalize the in-store shopping experience.
"This sense that something is 'for me' builds loyalty, as opposed to feeling like just a number. That's why they are less concerned about privacy and more willing to share information," Sarah Gleason, senior VP, shopper and retail strategy at GfK told MediaPost. "They are eager to shape the experience."
-See this MediaPost article
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