Shoppers are increasingly integrating the online and offline retail worlds

Shoppers are increasingly integrating the online and offline retail worlds

Shoppers are increasingly integrating the online and offline retail worlds, but purchasing decisions are increasingly complex, says a new study.

The Connected Shopper, a report compiled by marketing consultancy Geometry Global, is based on research conducted in 12 countries across four continents and attempts to understand the role that digital plays along what it calls the Purchase Decision Journey.

The study found that people's integration of the online and offline shopping worlds differed depending on their lifestyle, what they were shopping for, and the country they lived in.

"The path to purchase is complex, as people gather information and opinions repeatedly and fluidly in both digital and physical retail spaces," Geometry Global said.

The report said that connected shoppers wanted access to all shopping channels, but not all at once - just the right channel at the most convenient time for them. As such, it was critical to understand the variety of shopping behaviours and the touch points that impact each step, the company said.

It added: "Brands and retailers have a huge opportunity to champion platforms for smart shopping, to leverage smartphones as allies, to provide personal and value-added services at the point of sale, and to create programmes that facilitate the communication and opinion-seeking among peers."