Who are your cross-channel customers? It’s a big question.

Paul Tiedt | Aug 8, 2018 Paul Tiedt 08/08/18

Since eBay and Amazon launched in 1995, e-commerce has represented a lot of things for traditional retailers. First, unfamiliar territory. Then, endless opportunity for some (and end of days for others). Now, in the age of the cross-channel customer journey, it’s table stakes for customer conversion.

Customers no longer experience any one aspect of your brand in a vacuum—and they have elevated expectations for touchpoint integration. To help brands understand how digital interactions line up with in-store behaviors, we recently used SurveyMini®—SMG’s patented mobile research app—to trigger visit-detected surveys to nearly 16,000 consumers about their cross-channel habits following an in-store shopping trip. 

Some of the results confirmed what we suspected. Cross-channel shopping is becoming more ubiquitous, with 36% of respondents reporting they had visited the brand’s website in connection to their store visit. And while behaviors vary across demographics, the more brands know about how different customers interact across channels, the easier it is to fine-tune conversion strategies.

To that end, SMG’s researchers conducted customer segmentation analysis to reveal 4 types of cross-channel shoppers, each with distinctive behaviors. Here’s a quick snapshot of each:

Product Seekers are careful researchers


While there’s a lot of insight to be gleaned from the behavioral and website motivation data listed above, it’s first worth noting this group over-indexes with older, higher-income households. It makes sense then that Product Seekers tend to favor specialty retail brands. And even though their overall purchase conversion rates are pretty in line with the other profiles, they’re the most likely group to spend more than intended.

Our recommendation: if you can find opportunities to surprise and delight, Product Seekers will likely reward you with higher average tickets.

Savvy Shoppers are price-sensitive + looking for specific items


Unlike Product Seekers, who are browsing your website to make the most informed purchase decision possible, Savvy Shoppers are there for the sole purpose of comparing prices to make sure they get the best value on what they’re in the market for. Interestingly enough, they’re the group most likely to browse the store with no intention to buy, which indicates a good portion may just be using their in-store visits to showroom products they plan to buy elsewhere.

Our recommendation: consider price matching options to convert these browsers into buyers.

Bargain Hunters are always on the lookout for deals


Savvy Shoppers may be searching for the best deal on specific items, but Bargain Hunters just want any deal they can get their hands on. Over-indexing with younger households, this group has a couple unique identifying traits. First, they’re the most difficult to convert, with only 66% making an intended purchase. Second, 30% of their website visits happen in the store (read: on their phones).

Our recommendation: make sure your mobile-optimized website prominently features coupons and promotions that are redeemable on mobile devices.

Determined Buyers are on a mission


Determined Buyers visit your website for one of two reasons, both of which indicate they’re dead set on making a purchase. The 77% who hit your website before their in-store visit are planning their shopping trips, and the 23% who turn to the website either during or after their visit are looking to purchase items that were unavailable in the store.

Our recommendation: make it even easier for this group to make their intended purchases with Buy In-Store, Home Delivery options when stock runs thin.

Know how your customers behave across touchpoints to sync up conversion strategies
The principle remains the same, even if its application has grown increasingly complex: the more you know about your customers, the better positioned you’ll be to meet their needs and gain their loyalty. While that may seem daunting in the world of cross-channel shopping, given how much there is to know, it doesn’t have to be. SMG partners with 25% of the National Retail Federation’s Top 100 brands—using behavioral data and customer feedback collected from in-store visits and digital interactions to help sync up strategies and increase conversion.

To learn more about our research on cross-channel shopping, check out the full report: 3 things retailers need to know about cross-channel shoppers.

Paul Tiedt | VP, Client Insights

Customer Experience Update