Consumers are readying for Black Friday shopping weekend despite a throttling level of stress and frustration. In lieu of the coming event, GPShopper has released its report, “Reality of Holiday Retail: Keeping Up With the Consumer,” which reviewed shopper preferences and examines emerging purchasing behavior.
To collect its research, GPShopper commissioned YouGov PLC to survey 1,092 U.S. adults. Since conducting its online investigation, the results were weighted to represent all U.S. adults.
“Holiday shopping is without a doubt the most critical time of year for retailers,” said Maya Mikhailov, cofounder and chief marketing officer of GPShopper. “We found in previous research that no technology was above the consumer’s need for time and convenience, something we expect to be even more salient during the holidayshopping season. We dug deeper into exactly what consumers felt were the biggest pain points they experience both in-store and online.”
Forget retail therapy — participants confessed that the holidays induce heaps of stress. “Thirty-six percent of shoppers intend to start holiday shopping the week of Nov. 24,” the report said. “While 81 percent of consumers feel stress during the holiday shopping season, 45 percent mark Black Friday week as the most stressful time to shop for gifts.” This necessitates that omnichannel experiences deliver frictionless product research, discovery and purchases to avoid consumer burnout and dismissal.
This is where mobile features come into focus. “What consumers want this holiday season can all be easily delivered with a strong mobile-first strategy,” the report said. “From providing quick-return shipping labels to all-in-one solutions to alerting consumers about particular deals or promotions.”
The research found that more than half — 54 percent — of holiday shoppers want to be able to shop online or mobile and immediately pick up in store. What’s more, the report suggested that lackluster mobile experiences are pushing consumers to begin their product research in-store — 28 percent of shoppers cited physical stores as the first place they look to get information before they start holiday shopping.
Consumer frustrations abound during the holiday season. The research found that 45 percent of shoppers reported being told that a gift was in stock in-store when it wasn’t. “Forty-four percent of shoppers reported they were notified that a gift was out of stock after their order was processed,” the report said. “Thirty-three percent of shoppers reported paying for extra shipping on a gift that did not arrive on time.”
Overall, the research found that shipping issues contributed to a large sum of grievances. “Thirty-five percent of shoppers reported that their gifts arrive late despite ordering by the last ‘ship-by’ date,” the report said. “Twenty-two percent of shoppers reported they missed the last ‘ship-by’ date and couldn’t get their gift in time.”