Report: Shoppers Open to Cross-channel Shopping

A new IBM study of 26,000 global consumers released today at the 2013 National Retail Federation Big Show found they are diversifying the way they shop for and acquire goods, becoming increasingly open to buying both online and in-store depending on their needs at time of purchase.

While more than 80% of shoppers chose the store to make their last non-grocery purchase, only half are committed to returning there next time they buy.

IBM’s research finds that consumers are in a transitional state. According to the study, 35% are unsure whether they would next shop at a store or online. Nine percent are ready to commit to making future purchases online.

Of all eight product categories tracked in the survey, the two most popular categories chosen by consumers for an online shift are consumer electronics and luxury items, including jewelry and designer apparel.

The IBM study also found that nearly half of online purchases in studied categories resulted from showrooming. Significantly, nearly a quarter of these online shoppers intended to buy their item in the store, but ultimately purchased online – primarily due to price and convenience.

Younger, male and affluent shoppers are most likely to showroom. Although a global phenomenon, there is a higher incidence of showrooming in China (26%) and India (13%) than the U.S. (7%), for example.

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