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Home Assistant Devices Add to Already Fragmented Shopper Journey, According to New SmarterHQ Survey

Challenges for Retail Marketers Intensify as They Try to Recognize Consumers Across Channels

INDIANAPOLIS, March 19, 2018 – With the emergence of a seemingly new social media app, home assistant, or another channel that gives buyers means to shop, a consumer identity crisis has presented itself to marketers, making it extremely difficult for these retail executives to attract and maintain brand loyalty. 

While brick-and-mortar stores still remain the most popular place for consumers to shop, according to a new report from SmarterHQ, the leading multichannel behavioral marketing platform, the challenge for marketers is that consumers are on-the-go, moving from channel to channel, and they’re distracted as they do it. And the increasing use of assistant home devices, led by Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, have only added to the problem for marketers to create a connected consumer experience. In fact, 53% of survey respondents noted that their homes have more than three internet-accessible devices.

“Consumers view all the channels they shop on—online, in-store, through social media, or via assistant home devices—as a single point-of-contact with a brand,” said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ. 

"Yet many retailers still treat these channels as disparate systems that aren’t connected. This puts pressure on marketers to make the brand experience a consistent one no matter the channel. Without a marketing strategy that includes customer identity resolution, brands risk losing buyers to the more targeted and personalized campaigns of their competitors.”

Additional survey findings and what retail executives and marketers should keep in mind when strategizing the omnichannel experience include:

  • Shopping online doesn’t mean purchasing online: A huge 90% of respondents prefer omnichannel fulfillment, pairing the convenience of shopping online with purchasing in-store.
  • Shop online, return in-store: The majority of online shoppers (55%) prefer returning in-store to snail mail (45%) and as age increases, returning in-store decreases.
  • Stay-at-home parents are prime targets for brick-and-mortars: 80% of stay-at-home parents who have the availability to shop prefer to shop in-store due to wanting to get out of the house.
  • More kids equal more home assistants: Families with three or more children are 35% more likely to have home assistants, while those with less children opt for mobile sites and apps for quick purchases.
  • Immediacy of shopping in-store is key: Among in-store shoppers, 80% prefer the physical shopping experience because they can walk away with the product that day.

To review all of the survey findings and additional tips on how marketers can continue to deliver and maintain brand loyalty, you can download the full report: Omnichannel Consumers and the Customer Identity Crisis.