TORONTO, April 16, 2014 /CNW/ - To better understand how consumers make
purchase decisions, Retail Council of Canada (RCC) recently partnered
with The NPD Group and MasterCard Canada to conduct a comprehensive
study on the Canadian shopper. An online survey was fielded from
January 23, through February 7, 2014 to a Canadian representative
sample of 3,337 panelists aged 18-64.
The study focussed on a select group of products that were chosen to
reflect a range of likely purchasing channels: beauty (face cream),
winter apparel (coats/boots), beverage machines (single-serve
coffee/juicer, etc.), personal accessories (handbags, watches), and
PC/Electronics (computers, TVs, etc). Only those who indicated they
had planned the purchase were asked about their purchasing behaviour.
"Consumers are still overwhelmingly shopping in physical stores," says
Sharon Armstrong, SVP Marketing and Communications with Retail Council
of Canada. "And we're still heavily influenced by what happens when
we're in the store - the displays we look at and our conversations with
sales associates. But the research demonstrates that on-line reviews,
websites and social media are increasingly influential in helping
consumers consider brands they may not have originally thought about -
or influencing them to eliminate brands that were previously top of
Surprisingly, consumers in all categories typically considered less than
two brands when planning a purchase - and approximately two retailers.
Whether they remain loyal to the original brands or choose a different
brand varies by category according to Armstrong. "A remarkable 48% of
respondents chose a different brand when purchasing winter apparel from
the time they made the decision to buy to when they actually purchased
the product. But only 19% of those who had planned to buy a beverage
machine switched brands before purchasing." On average, nearly 25% of
purchasers switched retailers.
The study revealed that physical stores remain the dominant purchase
channel among all product categories, but on-line purchases represented
a sizeable portion of the market:
The percentage of respondents who purchased on-line:
Beverage Machine :
When respondents were asked why they chose to purchase the products
in-store versus on-line, the majority indicated they wanted to see and
touch the product. The risk and inconvenience of returning the product
was also a significant factor.
"Respondents were clearly more comfortable buying on-line when making
PC/Electronic purchases," says Sandy Silva, Director Client
Development, The NPD Group. "In this category 30% purchased on-line and
websites ranked stronger as influencers."
Among those who did visit a physical store, a surprising number did not
make a purchase at that point and opted to explore other touch points
after the store visit. "The study shows there is an opportunity for
retailers to improve their in-store experience to better convert
shoppers to buyers," says Silva. "Interactive displays that allow the
consumer to further research products is one possibility. Another is
providing the ability to order on-line right from the store to ensure
the sale is captured."
"The path to purchase is much more than simply the point of
transaction," says Kevin Gonyea, Vice President & Head of Acquirer
Merchant Relationship Management. "MasterCard is interested in driving
innovation to make the end-to-end purchase safe, simple and convenient
for the customer. These research results highlight the opportunities
available to retailers and brands to engage with customers."
MasterCard supported the research study to provide valuable insights to
business owners on consumer behaviour to educate and inform key
business decisions. The full RCC-NPD Consumer Path to Purchase report
will be unveiled and presented at RCC's STORE Conference 2014 and will also be available shortly thereafter for download at www.retailcouncil.org.
About Retail Council of Canada (RCC)
Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit
association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail
formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional
and national specialty chains, and online merchants.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the
world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers,
financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more
than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions
make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling,
running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more
efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
About The NPD Group
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive
better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with
unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets,
understand consumers and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered
include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment,
fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies,
sports, technology, toys and video games. For more information, visit www.npdgroup.ca and npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.
SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada
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