|  2013-02-04

The 10 Myths of Multichannel Retailing

Every day, executives in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries are inundated with forecasts of a fast-approaching future: the coming dominance of tablet and smart phone shopping; a continuing decline of the physical store; social media's starring role for the next generation of young shoppers. Not so fast, according new research from PwC

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Our new thought leadership piece, Demystifying the online shopper: 10 myths of multichannel retailing, is based on survey of more than 11,ooo online shoppers over 11 countries on three continents, including both mature economies and emerging markets. The 11 countries covered in the survey are Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Some of the highlights from this year's report:


·         While 60% of respondents use social media to follow, discover, and give feedback on brand and retailers, social media is not a major traffic driver to these brands and retailers--just 10% of our survey sample said a social media interaction led them to a specific online store

·         In fact, 17% of Internet users don't buy online at all -- they still prefer to shop entirely in stores

·         When it comes to devices, our respondents overwhelmingly favor the PC to the tablet for online purchases -- 97% go shopping on a PC compared to just 28% on a tablet

·         Over the next 12 months, our sample expects to shop in-store and online via PC far more than they expect to shop online via tablet or via smart phone

·         China is a different story in many ways; for example; 56% of Chinese online consumers have already shopping via a social media platform, versus a global average of 24%

·         More than one in three of our respondents have shopped directly from a brand's website; in the U.S. (52%) and China (56%), more than one in two consumers have leapfrogged the retailer and shopped directly with a brand


"When reading the results, one should take into consideration that online retail is still new to many customers around the world. Also, one should keep in mind that certain products, generally the ones that are standardized, such as electronic goods and home-appliances, are better suited for online retail, while for others the customers prefer to buy in conventional stores.  In Romania, online retail is still in its infancy, yet the potential is there and we expect to see a steady growth in online sales over the next few years”, stated Bogdan Belciu, Partner, Management Consulting Services, PwC Romania.


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