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Number Of Omni-Channel Shoppers Increasing, Finds GE Study

Shopping is one of the top uses of mobile technology, and seven of the top ten activities customers perform on their cell phone are shopping related. At the same time, the number of omni-channel shoppers who use multiple digital resources to purchase in and out of the store is growing significantly, according to a GE study. The findings also reveal that mobile adoption has more than doubled in the past year, with omni-channel shoppers spending up to double the amount of their in-store only counterparts.

Courtney Keating (Vice president, New Products, Capital Retail finance business, GE): Omni-channel shoppers are more engaged in terms of spending. They expect a frictionless and consistent shopping experience in and out of the store. Retailers can cultivate loyalty by understanding the path-to-purchase and developing an integrated marketing plan that puts the customer at the center.

Insights gathered from the study reveal consumer preferences, including what shoppers want from their mobile experience and what leads them to visit a retailer more often.

Here are some key findings of the study:

1. Shopping is one of the top uses of digital technology – 61 percent of those surveyed have performed at least one shopping-related task on their mobile phone, and 36 percent have shopped from their Smartphone in the last three months – up 10 percentage points from last year.

2. Relevant offers to mobile devices motivate shopping behavior – 73 percent of those surveyed regularly take advantage of offers, and 69 percent are more likely to make a purchase if they have a coupon. Credit cardholders are the most adoptive of mobile and also a higher loyalty segment.

3. Customers use mobile technology in and out of the store – 40 percent of shoppers surveyed say they would shop a retailer more often if offers are delivered through their mobile device. The Study indicates that mobile shopping and financing tools are key to attracting customers.

4. More online research is conducted for higher priced items – A quarter of customers surveyed conduct online research before making a purchase –this number nearly doubles at the price threshold of $116.

5. Credit cardholders are more digitally enabled and engaged shoppers – Smartphone ownership of 74 percent for retail cardholders is 22 percent higher than the national sample. Tablet ownership by retail cardholders is 16 percent higher by comparison and up 10 points since 2012. The Study also tracked the usage of mobile functionality, observing significant increases in mobile credit card applications, mobile service logins, and mobile payments, all of which has more than doubled year-over-year.

The study conducted by the market research team of GE, explored the mobile shopping habits of 5,926 consumers in the second quarter of 2013. Online survey respondents included 4,708 GE Capital Retail Bank (GECRB) accountholders and nearly one-third were random shoppers, all who have shopped in at least one of the following retail categories in the past six months: apparel, appliance and electronics, department stores, home furnishings, home improvement, mass merchandiser, oil and gas, sporting goods, toys, warehouse club, and Web-only. 

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