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Results of the 2019 EBG Barometer - Optimizing the omnichannel shopping journey: uses & innovations

WIDE reveals the results of its first study, in partnership with the EBG and Harris Interactive.
The transformation of the purchasing process induced by digital technology is well established in the daily life of the French.

  • For 90% of consumers, the store remains the preferred point of sale as a purchasing channel. On the other hand, 85% of them use digital technology for their information searches.
  • To respond to these changes, brands are prioritizing (78% of them) rethinking the user experience and user interface.
  • New services are emerging in stores such as augmented salespeople, interactive kiosks... and consumers are starting to adopt them at 51%.
  • Finally, 61% of the French believe that biometrics (voice, fingerprint, face) is the future of payment validation.

Discover the deliverable here.

WIDE reveals the results of its first ever study, in partnership with the EBG and Harris Interactive, on the optimization of the omnichannel purchase path.

Different physical and digital buying paths... but complementary

From the reinvention of the point of sale to new ways of buying, our consumption patterns continue to evolve: today, e-shops (81%) are almost as much considered as purchasing channels as physical stores (98%). The store remains the favorite point of sale for consumers: for 90% of them as a purchase channel and for 41% as an information channel.

Indeed, the "store reflex" is favored for everyday purchases such as food, hygiene and cleaning products, but also for leisure, high-tech and ready-to-wear. Dematerialized products such as travel (65%) and software (57%) are mainly purchased online.

"There are many "New Retail" devices that allow brands to meet the different expectations of all their customers, especially in-store phygital devices. These are two essential subjects for a brand that wants to develop commercially," says Jérôme Malzac, Innovation Officer at WIDE France.

Companies in tune with consumer habits

The buying journey is no longer linear and is articulated in three distinct phases: discovery, evaluation and decision. If today, digital channels are privileged for the research stage, the final decision is made in store.

The discovery of a product or service will be done mostly on trade shows and events (80%), the evaluation on the brands' proprietary website (78%) and the decision on the physical point of sale (72%).

"Whether they are pure web players or traditional retailers, professionals are seeking to create a seamless dialogue with their customers throughout the purchase process. Conversational commerce is a major lever in optimizing the transformation of brands and uses," said Antoine de Lasteyrie, Managing Director of WIDE France.

In this context, offering a memorable and consistent shopping experience has become essential. Improving the shopping experience requires a deeper understanding of consumers and a rethinking of the user experience and user interface, two priority areas for brands in 2019 (78%) ahead of personalization (61%) and customer service (43%).

The use of digital tools at the point of sale does not replace the human touch

The "nomadic" use of the Web in stores is growing: half of French people say they have already consulted their smartphone in a store "often" or "sometimes", mainly to obtain information about the product (30%), compare prices (29%) or obtain consumer reviews (16%).

In addition, consumers are increasingly aware of new digital services in stores, such as interactive kiosks. 51% have already used them to access information on available products and stocks. The accompaniment by an augmented salesperson (equipped with a tablet for example) is also one of the new important services for the consumer.

On the perception of other digital services such as voice assistants, NFC devices, touch screens, ... the French are not very convinced and sensitive today. The store remains a physical place where the human being cannot be replaced.

"The objective is to be educational through a clear discourse, to accompany the customer throughout the process and optimize the transformation. For Wide, this form of conversational commerce goes beyond technology (chatbot, voice assistants, Messenger...), by paying particular attention to the words, messages and the promise proposed" adds Antoine de Lasteyrie.

Payment is also adapting to the new purchasing paths: on the way to biometrics

Although the French do not appreciate payments via pre-registered bank details (49%) or authentication via voice recognition (68% would not use it), 61% think that biometrics (voice, fingerprint, face) is the future of payment validation.

However, the most used and offered payment methods by businesses have been the same for several years: bank card (97%), cash (93%) and checks (80%). Contactless bank cards (68%) and e-CB (61%) are attracting the most interest from consumers in 2019 as well as online payment platforms (70%).

The "Amazon Go" service and its stores have received a mixed reception: 44% of French people are reluctant to this concept without checkouts, without an in-store purchase act and with the amount of the products automatically taken from their bank account.

Even if fears about security, lack of human connection and loss of control over the purchasing act are prevalent, the journey and experience are changing radically.

Discover the deliverable here.

Methodology

The EBG has teamed up with Wide and the Harris Institute to conduct a new study on the omnichannel buying journey. This barometer is based on two mirror studies to compare consumers' expectations and habits with the solutions and innovations implemented by the industry. The survey was conducted by the EBG among its members (BtoB) from February to April 2019. 1,000 consumers and nearly 400 marketing, digital and e-commerce decision-makers were interviewed.

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