Ecommerce News / Product News

Omni-Channel Retail in 2017: What Brands Need to Know and Modern Consumer Shopping Habits

/ 17 min read


Most Popular Reads

You know something is new and trendy when you can’t find one unanimous spelling of it across the web. Ecommerce, e-commerce, eCommerce –– remember those days? Omni-channel (or is it omnichannel?) is the same. But it’s not just about the spelling; omni-channel lacks consistent syntax and definition, too.

RSVP for the Ecommerce Growth Summit

Will you be in Chicago for IRCE in June? Us, too! We’re hosting our first annual Ecommerce Growth Summit, featuring keynote presentations from Mike Ditka, NFL Hall of Fame Coach, Jason Boyce, Co-Founder and CEO of Dazadi, an Inc. 5000 brand, and much, much more.

Register for the Ecommerce Growth Summit in Chicago this June. Hope to see you there!

What is Omni-Channel Retail?

  • Hubspot defines it as: the ability to “deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels, while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business.”
  • Google defines it as: “ensuring [retailer] marketing strategies are geared toward enabling customers to convert on any channel.”
  • At BigCommerce, we internally define it as: “Stores selling both online and offline –– likely also selling through multiple online channels (i.e. on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, B2B). We’ve also been referencing the importance of listing your product wherever consumers are already spending their time. This is increasingly known as contextual commerce, a more strategic take on the overarching omni-channel term.”

Typically, omni-channel retailers aren’t startups. They also aren’t web-only shops, which means they have the capital to put some feet on the ground. That much is clear. What isn’t though, is the idea of seamlessness and retailer sophistication. From that perspective, few retailers today are successfully executing on all of their omni-channel initiatives.

This is because with the momentum toward integrating commerce across channels, there’s one big piece of the puzzle missing: what the consumer wants [infographic]. Many retailers are just guessing. Sure, they have proprietary data on how consumers are using their own channels, but ‘omni’ has latin roots in the omniscient realm, meaning perceiving all things –– not just what is happening on your own channel.

Omni-channel marketing, then, becomes more about providing an experience — the omni-channel customer experience — transcending any one medium and simply providing shoppers what they want, when they want.

To date, no one has decoded exactly how, when and why the modern American makes a purchase. What we do know though is that nobody today shops exclusively through a single medium. Consumers buy online, in store and on marketplaces, from legacy retailers and independent brands alike.

This is why we’ve launched a new study analyzing modern, omni-channel consumer behavior. This data uncovers the details on how, when, where and why Americans buy, educating the entire commerce industry on today’s consumer shopping preferences.

You’ll see the results of our study in the following chapters and gain insight into:

  • How Americans shop across an omni-channel environment: what they buy, how much they spend and what’s stopping them from checking out more often
  • What products retailers should feature on various channels to maximize sales
  • How to increase conversion rates on all your selling channels
  • How omni-channel fulfillment is a necessary extension of merging channels
  • The ins and outs of your audience and their motivation for purchasing

This is what retailers need to know to implement a data-driven, omni-channel strategy today.

Free Webinar and Data Analysis

Hear from Internet Retailer’s editor in chief Don Davis, Kelton’s senior director Matt Paladino and vice president Danielle Sherman and BigCommerce’s senior product director Troy Cox on what these trends mean for the industry.

First, a quick note from the editor

This information only tells you what the customer is doing. The fundamental mistake to avoid is assuming that we’re actually asking the customer, “What do you want?” If you ask a question like this, you can’t be surprised by what you’ll hear: solutions and convenience. And requests for solutions will almost always be disappointing for companies that are trying to innovate.

According to Harvard Business Review: “Customers only know what they have experienced. They cannot imagine what they don’t know about emergent technologies, new materials, and the like. What customer, for example, would have asked for the microwave oven, Velcro or Post-It Notes? At the time the transistor was being developed, radio and television manufacturers were still requesting improved vacuum tubes.”

We offer these survey results as important data in furthering the understanding of the modern consumer, which can then be used to distill the omni-channel customer experience down to recognizable touchpoints. Providing this experience permeates every aspect of your organization, from inventory management to multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Read about our methodology here. What innovations occur next is up to the retailers. Sign up to for a webinar tomorrow, 6/7, on how this data provides insight into how to merchandise across channels.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the data.

Omnichannel Retailing Checklist: Putting Data to Action

Download the full list of action items for retailers based on the data found throughout this article.

Who shops online

The State of Omni-channel Retail -- Who Shops Online

At a high level, that’s an easy question to answer: almost everyone. 96% of Americans have made an online purchase at some point in their lives, and four in five (80%) have done so in the last month alone.

Online shopping is now just as popular as in-store, with 51% of Americans citing online as their preferred way to shop. This goes hand in hand with data from the National Retail Federation for the 2015 holiday season. For the first time ever, more Americans shopped online for holiday items –– but it was a narrow win. The NRF’s survey found that an estimated 151 million people shopped either in stores, online or both over the weekend. Of those, 103 million said they shopped online, and nearly 102 million headed to stores.

Make Online Shopping Easy as Pie

Given the current (and growing ) popularity of shopping online, you’ll want to make sure your online commerce experience is optimized to turn shoppers into buyers – on any device. First, make your checkout as simple and clear as possible. Avoid adding steps to the process that might distract customers from completing the sale – like asking where they heard about your business. Save that for the confirmation page. Second, think mobile and build a site (and checkout) that’s friendly to mobile shoppers.

Accepting payments like PayPal, for instance, gives shoppers a fast, easy way to pay on almost any device. Plus, it can help improve checkout conversion by up to 44%, according to a recent Nielsen study.

— Chase Jones, marketing manager, PayPal

Millennials vs. Gen X vs. Baby Boomers

Americans as a whole are split when it comes to a preference for online or in-store shopping. But when broken out by demographic, it is clear that the younger generations will continue to drive shopping to the digital front. The survey revealed that 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to search and purchase on ecommerce sites rather than in store. Only 41% of Baby Boomers and 28% of Seniors will click to purchase.

Given their preference for online shopping, it makes sense that Millennials and Gen Xers would also spend nearly 50% more time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).

Reduce Fear for All Buyer Types

Resistance around purchasing online is often fear-based. A flexible return policy, free return shipping and even a pre-printed return label can work wonders for a store’s conversion rate.

— Stevie Huval, Solution Engineer at BigCommerce


Parents vs. non-parents

When it comes to shopping, there is one major difference between parents and non-parents: convenience. You’ll see this trend pop up throughout the study. Yes, all online shoppers are influenced by the convenience factor, but no group values ease of purchase like parents.

In fact, nearly half (49%) of parents surveyed stated that they couldn’t live without online shopping –– and they spend 61% more online per year than non-parents ($1,071 vs. $664). Parents also spend more of their budget online in comparison to non-parents (40% vs. 34%), and spend 75% more time shopping online each week (seven hours vs. four hours).

Make Parents' Lives Easier and Re-ordering a Breeze

Parents have to keep everyone’s needs in mind. If you know your customer and their purchase history with you, use it to make their shopping experience online easier. For example, if they purchased children’s ibuprofen in liquid form regularly, but haven’t in a while, ask them if they would like to restock. That’s more helpful than pushing an unwanted selling message on them.

— Mike Wittenstein, founder and managing partner at Storyminers.


Men vs. Women

This demographic breakdown is nothing revolutionary; American men and women shop rather similarly across all channels. The one key callout is that men reported spending 28% more online than women over the last year.

Help Consumers Create Shopping Habits with Your Brand

Both genders are creatures of habit. Think about curating a shopping list of regular items for men and women on an opt-in basis. If you can capture information about what your customers would like to have, you can offer them trials of new product (often at a profit from your CPG suppliers) and/or automatic refill programs.

— Mike Wittenstein, founder and managing partner at Storyminers.


Metropolitan vs. suburban vs. rural

Americans shop differently depending on where they live. For instance, although they have more physical stores nearby, shoppers in metropolitan areas spend more online annually ($853) than suburban shoppers ($768) or those in rural areas ($684). They also spend the most time shopping online out of the three groups.

What’s stopping those in suburban or rural areas from shopping or spending more online? More than half (63%) of suburban shoppers cited shipping costs as their least favorite part of online shopping, and 38% of rural shoppers cited strong concerns about online privacy.

Serve Coupons to Discount-Hungry Consumers

Suburban and rural shoppers are extremely price sensitive and look for coupons and discounts more so than metropolitan shoppers. To better encourage them to purchase, use IP address mapping to intelligently serve discounts to visitors coming from suburban or rural locations.

BigCommerce Support Team



Where Americans spend online

The State of Omni-channel Retail -- Where Americans Spend Money

Shopping online has never been easier or more omnipresent in America. Yet according to the U.S. Census Bureau, ecommerce accounted for only 7.5% of total retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2015. Our data shows a similar, though significantly higher, trend: Online shoppers spend 64% of their shopping budget in store, and 36% online.

These numbers, though, are expected to increase. Between Q3 and Q4 of 2015, ecommerce sales grew 32%. In total, 2015 ecommerce sales were 14% higher than in 2014. Experts have predicted that by 2020, ecommerce sales will hit $523 billion –– a 56% increase from the $335 billion achieved in 2015. In order for those predictions to come true, ecommerce sales need only increase 9.32% annually. If last year’s numbers are any indication, we are well on our way to surpassing the estimates.

Nab Sales Back from Brick-and-Mortar Competitors

Consider offering an expedited shipping option. People are often willing to pay extra for convenience and a merchant can expect to capture more purchases that would otherwise be lost to a local brick-and-mortar.

— Stevie Huval, Solution Engineer at BigCommerce

Of course, Americans aren’t shopping at all online retailers in the same way. The majority begin a search for items on marketplaces, while some go to their tried-and-true local boutique’s website, and others look for traditional brand name stores. There are multiple factors that contribute to a final purchasing decision, much of which will be covered later. Below you will find data on exactly where Americans are spending their money.

Online vs. in store

The in-store draw is still an important one for many merchants. In fact, many of the most successful retailers are omni-channel commerce businesses, meaning they have both online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Americans are almost evenly split on which channel they prefer: 51% think shopping online is best, while 49% prefer shopping in store. There’s a more distinct difference in how much they spend on each channel, though: those surveyed spent 64% of their shopping budget in store, and 36% online.

Even if you prefer online shopping, chances are you’ll spend more when you buy in store. Of course, this changes based on your demographics. See the breakout below on how Americans in various demographic groups spend online vs. in store.

Note: Everyone reports spending more in brick-and-mortars.

Create Recognizable Brand Experience by Channel

A great omni-channel ecommerce experience feel the same to customers, regardless of channel. So strive to standardize your processes, rules, messaging and pricing policies. Also, without deviating from the familiar feeling customers expect, create something unique to each channel. Something that’s valuable, memorable and story-worthy.

— Mike Wittenstein, founder and managing partner at Storyminers.



Webstore vs. large retailer vs. marketplace

There are thousands of online shopping options for consumers, and few shoppers are loyal to just one. Survey data revealed that 74% of Americans have shopped at large retailers, 54% on ecommerce marketplaces, 44% at webstores and 36% at category-specific online retailers.

This modern consumer behavior has led to a rise in two industry terms: multi-channel and omni-channel.

Multi-channel retailing means a company sells in multiple online channels (e.g., a web store, marketplaces and social media). Omni-channel refers to retailers with both a physical and digital presence.

Retailers can be both or neither, though the most successful merchants are typically multi-channel and growing to become omni in the near future. That’s because consumers generally shop wherever is the most convenient.

Nearly half of all online product searches (48%) begin on marketplaces like Amazon, for instance. In comparison, 31% of Americans first turn to larger retailers, 12% to category-specific retailers, and 7% to webstores. If you sell through a webstore without using Amazon as part of a multi-channel strategy, you’re missing out on a huge amount of searches and potential conversions.

In fact, in the last year, shoppers have spent the most with ecommerce marketplaces ($488), closely followed by large retailers such as Nordstrom or Best Buy ($409).

Product discoverability is the name of the game for online retailers, even big brands. Here’s how each retailer type fares in consumer visibility and conversion.

multi channel retailing


When Americans spend online

multi channel marketing

Now that mobile devices are always on hand, there is no limit to where and when people shop online. And they do so frequently, with 80% making purchases at least once a month –– and 30% purchasing at least once per week.

The charts below detail exactly how often different demographics are clicking the buy button, and from where they are doing it.

Online shopping frequency

Shopping online is now almost ubiquitous, with 93% of Americans having done so in the last year. For many, online shopping has become habitual: 80% cite purchasing something online monthly, 30% weekly and 5% daily.

Online shopping takes up a good chunk of our time, too. Respondents spend five hours per week on average shopping online, and those with kids spend an additional two per week.

Let’s put that in terms of dollars. Using the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, Americans could make an additional $36 a week putting those hours toward income generation. That’s more than $1,500 a year on minimum wage alone. For those in states making a $15 hourly minimum wage, that’s $3,600 a year spent online shopping.

Engage Buyers with Content

Most of the visitors to your site are not immediately ready to purchase. Pre-transactional conversion opportunities let you trade something site visitors find valuable (content like a style guide or recipe book) for something you find valuable (their contact information and interests). It’s an opportunity to gather contact information from a prospective buyer on your site so you can engage with them in a thoughtful and valuable way.

Susannah Morris, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at HubSpot 

ecommerce fulfillment


Purchase location and time

So we know Americans shop online often, but let’s drill down another layer. During which times and from which locations do they find it most convenient to do so? You might be surprised.

A 2015 InReality study found that 75% of shoppers have browsed for items online while in a physical store. Our survey took things even further, confirming that 25% of Americans have actually made an online purchase while standing in a brick-and-mortar store.

Consumers do their online shopping from a variety of locations — wherever it’s most convenient. Almost half (43%) of Americans who have shopped online have made a purchase from bed; Millennials and Gen Xers are 3x more likely to do so than Baby Boomers and Seniors (59% vs. 21%).

Of those surveyed, 23% have made a purchase from work; 29% of Millennials and Gen Xers have done so, and 15% of Baby Boomers and Seniors.

Another 20% admit to purchasing from the bathroom or while in the car. Millennials and Gen Xers report the highest incidences of bathroom shopping; they’re 5x more likely to have made an online purchase from the bathroom than Baby Boomers or Seniors (31% vs. 6%).

It’s not just where Americans are shopping, though, that’s of interest. It’s also in what state of mind. One in ten shoppers admitted to buying something online after drinking alcohol. Men are more than twice as likely to drink and shop compared with women (14% to 6%), and younger generations are 5x more likely to do so than older (15% to 3%). Parents are over two times more likely than non-parents to have made an online purchase after drinking (15% vs. 7%). It will be very interesting to see how marketers incorporate this insight into their omni-channel strategy!

omnichannel experience


What Americans are buying


It’s clear that Americans are shopping both online and in store. Yet what they buy at each type of retailer varies –– and also overlaps. Our study further proves that the modern buyer journey is multi-channel. Few Americans have bought items only through one or even two channels. Most purchase items through a variety of retailer types, likely whichever is the most convenient or cost-effective at the time of purchase.

See the chart below for a more thorough breakdown of which items consumers are buying at which retailers. Here are a few takeaways:

  • Clothing, shoes and accessories: 44% of shoppers have purchased from marketplaces, 47% from large retailers, 27% from webstores and 30% from category-specific online stores
  • Electronics: 34% of shoppers have purchased from marketplaces, 32% from large retailers, 10% from webstores and 19% from category-specific online stores
  • Beauty and personal care items: 29% of shoppers have purchased from marketplaces, 24% from large retailers, 18% from webstores and 17% from category-specific online stores
  • Books, music and movies: 44% of shoppers bought from marketplaces, 28% from large retailers, 15% from webstores and 21% from category-specific online stores
  • Flowers and gifts: 14% of consumers bought on marketplaces, 14% from large retailers, 15% from webstores and 19% from category-specific online stores.

Upsell and Cross-Sell with Product Recommendations

Leverage dynamic product recommendations to upsell and cross-sell, on-site and in marketing emails. Use the information you have about buyers to personalize your outreach to fit their interests.

Morgan Jacobson, Ecommerce Sales Manager at HubSpot



What influences the American shopper to purchase

The State of Omni-channel Retail -- Shopper Influences

Convenience and price are the two most important influences on a purchasing decision. Have a low enough price, though, and convenience takes a back seat.

Likely as a result of the recent recession and slower-than-expected return to stability, Americans are most persuaded to buy when the price is right. But price comes into play in multiple ways. Shipping, taxes, fees, returns, coupons, discounts and giveaways all matter to consumers. For retailers, especially independent boutiques and webstores, perks like “free shipping” are being more frequently offered and considered a marketing expense. For larger chains like Amazon, the net loss is worth the increase in brand reputation. Either way, most retailers are struggling to keep up.

When Everyone has a Stake in the Outcome, the Customer isn't the Only Winner

Omni-channel requires overlapping to ensure that the customer perceives a seamless experience from end to end. Helping a customer through his entire buyer’s journey means knocking down internal barriers to hold his hand at each stage, making sure that each hand-off is perfect. Plan your omni-channel strategy by including all departments early in brainstorming a path to success.

Ted Rubin, Social Marketing Strategist, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators

Price, however, is not the only factor that can sway a consumer to purchase. In this section, we’ll explore what exactly closes the deal for today’s shopper.

Most important influencing factors

The top three factors Americans rank as “very” or “extremely” influential in determining where they shop are price (87%), shipping cost and speed (80%), and discount offers (71%). Seniors are an outlier to the pricing trifecta, as they are less influenced by discount offers than other generations (47% to 74%).

Almost a quarter of online shoppers (23%) are influenced by social media recommendations, and 42% find recommendations from friends and family influential –– twice the number who cite advertisements as influential. Interestingly, younger generations self-report as more receptive to advertising; Millennials and Gen Xers are nearly twice as likely as older generations to find advertising influential.

Surprised? We’ll dive into that in more detail later.

Customer Experience is Desired Value Add, Not Just a Low Price

American shoppers don’t just look for the lowest price — they search for the greatest value. Retailers tend to think that the lion’s share of value comes from the products they sell. Retail customers disagree. They want a fair price for the ‘thing’ they get AND they want convenience, service, reasonable policies, ease-of-use, friendly service, timely deliveries and a myriad of other elements of the experience that represent value for them. The bottom line is most customers make purchase decisions based on the overall experience, not only on the cost/quality dimension.

— Mike Wittenstein, founder and managing partner at <Storyminers.



Reviews vs. advertisements vs. friends and family

There is something shifting among generations as to how reviews, advertisements, and friends and family influence a purchasing decision.

In general, 42% of online shoppers find recommendations from friends and family influential, 23% are influenced by social media recommendations and reviews, and 21% cite advertisements as influential.

Although advertisements were rated the least influential purchasing factor, the data showed that younger generations are more receptive to advertising than older ones. Millennials and Gen Xers fare nearly twice as likely as Baby Boomers and Seniors to find ads influential (27% vs. 14%). This may be due to the constantly shifting nature of online advertising.

A Network Gives You Reach, but a Community Gives You Power

In today’s digital world it’s all too easy to let our relationship-building muscles atrophy. We’re super-connected, yet somehow disconnected at the same time. This puts us at risk of losing the very relationships that help us prosper as companies and people. It is time to re-build our one-on-one communication skills and muscles that we’ve forgotten in our rush to new technologies. These skills scale via social because most participate vicariously via the few who interact publicly.

In order to get by-in from the c-suite be sure to bring awareness to the fact that… a network gives you reach, but a community gives you power. That power solidifies trust, and loyalty, which lead directly to ROI for any person or organization.

Ted Rubin, Social Marketing Strategist, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators



Conversion killers and online pain points –– what makes consumers abandon cart

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much traffic an online store receives –– if no one actually buys, the business will perish.

The average ecommerce conversion rate for a U.S. online store is between 2-3%. So, for every 100 visitors a site receives, less than four people will purchase an item. This creates an ROI issue. Advertising is expensive, and so is creating a quality customer experience that generates reviews or word of mouth to drive more sales.

Abandoned carts continue to be an issue for retailers of all sizes, with the average abandoned cart rate at 69%. What’s stopping consumers from buying once they add to cart? Cost is a big issue. Our data shows that 66% of Americans have decided not to buy an item because of shipping costs: that’s 72% of women and 59% of men.

After cost, the natural limitations of buying online are the leading causes of abandoned carts. Nearly half of respondents (49%) cited not being able to touch, feel or try a product as one of their least favorite aspects of online shopping. Another 34% said difficult-to-return items and long delivery estimates were also a pain.

Finally, site design also matters: 21% of Americans state that unattractive or hard-to-navigate websites are frustrating when buying online. A well-designed store is essential to decreasing abandonment and increasing sales.

Design is Incredibly Underrated Among Retail Strategists

They forget that that consumer expectations shift based on popular sites and apps. Those design cues become the standard for engagement. All too often retailers look at other retailers when in fact, UX and UI trends are coming from the likes of Apple, Uber, Tinder, Buzzfeed, Instacart, et al. Customer experience is the new battle ground and the gap between design and user preferences is where companies invite disruption and competition. 

— Brian Solis, principal analyst, Altimeter, a Prophet company and author of X: The Experience When Business Meets Design



What Americans want more of from online stores

Shoppers appreciate stores that recreate the in-person buying experience using images (78%), reviews (69%), comparisons (46%), testimonials (42%) or video (30%). These immersive features help alleviate the fact that 49% of online shoppers dislike not being able to touch, feel or try out a product.

Here is what Americans would like to see more of from online stores.

Your Customers Can Help, Too

Encourage your customers to post reviews and user-generated content (like pictures) to help fill the gap where customers can’t actually interact with your product before purchase. Clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty, gifts, and other lifestyle products particularly lend themselves to user-generated content campaigns.

Susannah Morris, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at HubSpot



How Americans feel about online shopping


Online shopping is more convenient than ever, and many Americans admit to purchasing from absolutely anywhere –– and occasionally in an altered state of mind. So it stands to reason that not all purchases are home runs.

In our study, 42% of online shoppers said they’ve made a purchase they later regret, and 21% have accidentally bought something they didn’t want.

Shopping regret

As mentioned above, 42% of Americans have made a purchase they later regret. Millennials are the most likely to experience buyer’s regret than any other generation (51% v 37%). Here’s how it breaks down.

Regret and Returns Go Hand-in-Hand, So Make the Experience Positive

A clear returns policy helps instill trust in your brand. Offer money back if you can, or store credit if you want to retain the revenue. Either way, make the return process as easy as possible for the consumer. A regretted purchase doesn’t have to be a point of contention between your brand and a potential repeat customer.

BigCommerce Support Team




Nearly half of online shoppers (48%) reported overspending on a purchase. Millennials and Gen Xers lead overspending at 55%, followed by 38% of Baby Boomers and Seniors.

Be Upfront About Costs, and Provide Options

Include shipping information (and other costs, like taxes) throughout the purchase process to avoid price jumps that lead to abandonment. Additionally, provide shipping options. Maybe you can provide free ground shipping over a certain purchase value (at a high enough threshold that you can increase your average order value). Also provide speedier shipping options at an additional cost. Some buyers will be happy to spend more to get their purchase faster, whereas others would prefer saving a couple of dollars. Putting the customer first by giving them options will make them happier.

Susannah Morris, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at HubSpot



How important is online shopping?


For many Americans, online shopping is an indispensable part of life. In fact, 40% of those surveyed said they couldn’t live without it. Seniors are the least digital-dependent among us; Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers were more than twice as likely to say they couldn’t live without online shopping (43% to 20%).

What would consumers give up before online shopping? Turns out, quite a bit!

Respondents were nearly twice as likely to say they could not live without online shopping compared to streaming music (40% to 21%). And they were 8x as likely to say they could not live without online shopping compared to dating apps (40% to 5%).

When it comes to priorities, Americans favor shopping over first dates and music.



What this means for U.S. retailers: Developing your omni-channel strategy


Technology has wholly disrupted the retail industry. Consumers are no longer loyal to a single brand or type of shopping. They now shop in an omni-channel fashion, sometimes buying on a mobile device while in a brick-and-mortar store, or browsing a marketplace before heading to a category-specific site.

Get 4 More Charts Analyzing Consumer Mindset

Free access to four additional charts, showcasing the unique shopper mindset various retail channels, including how much consumers spend on each channel, what drives their purchases and more.

It’s imperative for brands to truly understand their target customer, then dig deep on how that persona purchases. For instance, webstores and category-specific online stores have a leg up on selling gifts and flowers. However, if you’re a webstore selling clothing, shoes and accessories, you’ll also want to list on a marketplace or go the wholesale route to get your items in a large retailer like Nordstrom. After all, most consumers looking for those items begin their search on and eventually purchase from one of those platforms. If you aren’t there, they won’t be buying from you.

We’ll be following up over the next few weeks with additional deep dives into various aspects of the data and trends uncovered by our study. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, do you have any feedback, questions, concerns or insights you’d like to share? Drop them in the comments below.

Leave a Comment
  • Eagerly waiting, Tracey :)

  • Thanks, Kawser! We actually have an update to this coming soon :) Stay tuned!

  • Ah. Thank you so much, Tracey! Nice information and wonderfully organized.

  • Anastasia

    Thank you so much for this article! Very informative, you did a great research. You’re right, sellers need to develop their omnichannel strategy, and I guess if handled properly it’s not too hard. For example, this article has some good ideas on omnichannel potential: /

  • Hey! It was a little over 2K American shoppers.

  • Hey! We defined web-store as an independent online retailer whereas a Zappos is considered a category-specific store. It isn’t a marketplace, but its also much larger than a regular web store. Hope that helps!

  • Angela

    Hi. I found your article very useful, thank you for deep research. What I’d like to know is how big statistical sample of this research was?

  • Andrea L.

    Amazing article. Thank you for sharing it. Most probably your readers would be interested in IRCE 2017, the premier event for experts, vendors and strategic partners in e-commerce and B2B sector. Read this article on how to make the most out of this remarkably event:

  • Lot of useful information in this post. Amazing post. It is completely unique post. Thanks you for this.

  • Appreciate your work and just wondering about the statistical data for upcoming year.

  • Thanks @audreyzack:disqus ! It was a few months work, that’s for sure — and we’re hoping to redo it every year to provide benchmarks the industry.

  • Just want to give big-ups for providing such a deep and informative article about Omni-Channel retail and user behaviors from Millennials to seniors and from Rural to Metropolitan with polling. The main thing is to understand user behavior and implement it into the business to get it bigger and better.

  • Vic Dadson

    Loved the article! It would be interesting to see how people feel about mcommerce as well, what their preferences are, who’s more likely to use an app vs mobile website vs desktop etc. Omni-channel is something a lot of retailers seem to be struggling with at the moment, so I wonder how many are actually meeting customer expectations? I know in the UK mobile shopping is rising massively ( but everything’s really disjointed between platforms!

Less Development. More Marketing.

Let us future-proof your backend. You focus on building your brand.