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Litmus: The Digital Shopping Experience


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The Digital Shopping Experience: Today’s emerging features are tomorrow’s experiential essentials

The Digital Shopping Experience: Today’s emerging features are tomorrow’s experiential essentials

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  • 1. LITMUS The Digital Shopping Experience Today’s emerging features are tomorrow’s experiential essentials Foreward It is widely recognized that online commerce is rapidly becoming a major driver of retail sales and growth. In fact, some estimates say that by 2012 online sales will drive up to 50% of retail sales. With statistics this aggressive it is more important than ever that retailers be able to execute seamlessly across channels to maintain customer satisfaction and avoid brand fragmentation. But, just as retailers were implementing their cross-channel strategies, a new channel was born—mobile commerce, the “fourth channel.” Mobile commerce opens up bold new opportunities to enhance the integrated shopping experience and dramatically accelerate growth. At the same time, it raises entirely new cross- channel integration challenges, as well. The timing was perfect, then, for this groundbreaking research…which is precisely why Sterling Commerce chose to sponsor this important endeavor. The results you find within this report will help you better understand consumer needs and desires when it comes to online and mobile commerce, as well as, their perceptions of new shopping capabilities that retailers are considering. This consumer perspective will be vital as you continue to evolve your cross-channel strategy. But, time is of the essence. Leading retailers are already employing the mobile phone as a consumer tool for research, customer convenience, and making purchases. To remain ahead, retailers are racing to provide a competitively differentiated shopping experience. And, this report will provide critical insights into the latest consumer expectations. Make sure you’re ahead of the pack and not at risk of being left behind. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Executive Summary Resource Interactive conducted qualitative and quantitative research into the state of online retailing and discovered that emerging experiential features—not yet widely adopted and still requiring a learning curve for most consumers—create the greatest potential for brand differentiation. Though more narrow in applicability and appeal, these emerging experiential tools and features, many of which are mobile- based, are extremely strong in generating consumer consideration, enthusiasm and preference. Moreover, these emerging features are not the exclusive domain of young early (tech) adopters; consumers across several demographic groups found value in many of them. Targeting such a diverse consumer base, however, can only be made manageable through the careful correlation of customer segments’ needs and wants with micro-experiences—used here to mean those constituent parts of the consumer shopping process having discrete value—practical and/or social—in and of themselves. Those shopping features that consumers generally agreed were not just appealing but important—such as ratings and reviews—demonstrate the rapid rate at which the appealing new feature becomes de rigueur. But focusing exclusively on providing these features locks retailers into a game of mutual mimicry, wherein the online shopping experience improves across the board but standardizes in the process, so that features once considered advanced or enhanced devolve to commodity status—and so do the brand experiences themselves. With some of the key research findings about online shopping tools and features, Resource recast the consumer journey as fish-shaped rather than funnel-shaped, and concluded that the best metric for the micro-experiences making up this new nonlinear journey is task completion rate. We also used our findings to take aim at lingering misconceptions about e-commerce’s relative importance to retail overall. For instance, the belief that the retail store is and will likely always be the most important source of inspiration and decision support in the shopping process has been laid to rest. Too many online features, such as product zoom and rotate and how-to videos, remove much of the risk involved in shopping alone and without tactile information. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 3. Methodology Resource Interactive asked a nationally representative sample of nearly 2000 respondents1 who had purchased apparel and/or home electronics within the past year to tell us how important a variety of experience elements2 were in making a purchase decision. In conjunction with Harris Interactive, Resource also conducted online focus groups with over 40 respondents3 who tested various experiences over a four day period, to understand the relative appeal of several experience tools and to uncover attitudes, behaviors and needs that might represent opportunities. This qualitative research allowed us to obtain reactions to both existing experiences and envisioned future prototypes in-context and to probe respondents so as to more fully understand the reasons for their responses. The research was conducted “blind” so that respondents could neither see nor react to other participants’ responses. Resource tested 30 experience tools and features overall4 (see chart on next page). We focused on the two industry verticals of home electronics and apparel, as they represent categories slowing and growing, respectively.5 Apparel (including accessories and footwear) became a bellwether for important trends in 2006, when online sales increased 61% and outsold personal computers for the first time in the ten-year history of the internet retailers survey by and Forrester Research. Apparel sales in 2008 are expected to reach $26.6 billion, making it one of the three strongest online retail categories, according to The State of Retailing Online 2008, the 11th annual study conducted by Forrester Research, Inc. Consumer (a.k.a. “home” in this paper) electronics is at the other end of the spectrum, with growth in Q2 2007 vs. Q2 2008 slowing to about 5% according to comScore. Steve Baker, industry analysis VP for the NPD, predicts 1-3% growth for the fourth quarter this year and all of 2009, which is slower than the annual 6% and higher increases enjoyed by consumer electronics for the past decade. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 4. 30 Experiential Features (Micro-experiences) Tested by Importance Please indicate how important the ability to do each of the following is or could be to you in helping you during your shopping and purchasing process for home electronics/apparel, even if you have not done them before. (Scale: 1, not at all important – 7, absolutely essential) Unweighted base n=1846 642 1204 Total Mean HE AP Total Mean HE AP Visting a retail store 4.7 4.7 4.7 Receiving free text notifications for products identified Obtaining help of a salesperson while in a store 4.5 4.7* 4.4 by your purchase intent 2.1 2.4* 2.0 Use web site to determine product availability in store 4.0 4.5* 3.8 Accessing product comparisons and ratings information Read ratings & reviews on web site 3.5 4.2* 3.1 via mobile phone (free of charge) 2.1 2.4* 1.9 Control the product view with zoom and rotate 3.4 3.7* 3.2 Receiving mobile text notifications (free of charge) of Email sales notification for identified products 3.4 3.8* 3.2 of promotions or sales you've selected 2.0 2.2* 1.9 Anonymous checkout 3.3 3.6* 3.2 Storing personal preferences for people you shop for Buy online, pick up in store 3.2 3.6* 3.0 on your mobile phone 2.0 2.1* 1.8 Web access to loyalty program offers & rewards 3.1 3.3* 3.0 Text notifications of promotions for products in your Read others' views within a community section of a proximity (sensor) 1.9 2.2* 1.8 retailer's web site 3.0 3.7* 2.6 Mobile phone use (GPS-like) to help you find where Accessing addtional content on a retailer's web site 3.0 3.7* 2.6 products are located in a store 1.9 2.1* 1.8 Customizing products for special order online 2.9 3.4* 2.7 Accessing loyalty program offers and rewards on a Viewing video of product in-context on a retailer's mobile phone 1.9 2.1* 1.8 web site 2.8 3.6* 2.3 Mobile phone to request employee assistance while Dragging and dropping into a virtual workspace on in a store 1.9 2.1* 1.8 a retailer's web site to configure a product or system 2.6 2.8* 2.5 Storing shopping list on mobile phone 1.9 2.1* 1.7 Multiple-store checkout 2.6 2.9* 2.4 Scanning a barcode to add something to a shopping Online chat with experts 2.4 2.8* 2.2 list stored on a mobile phone 1.9 2.0* 1.7 Asking/posting questions to a community on a Co-shopping 1.9 2.1* 1.6 retailer's site 2.3 2.6* 2.2 Sharing shopping lists via mobile phones 1.7 2.0* 1.6 Store/manage shopping and wish lists for family Survey or polling friends/family for opinions about a or group on websitee 2.3 2.8* 2.1 product with mobile phone 1.7 1.9* 1.6 *Note: with the exception of visiting of retail store, means were statistically higher for home electronics than for apparel. *Note: with the exception of visiting of retail store, means were statistically higher for home electronics than for apparel. Survey conducted among 1846 US adults. Results for Home Electronics reported among 642 past year home electronics buyers (n=642) Results for Apparel reported among 1204 past year apparel buyers (n=1204) ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 5. Findings The Relative Importance of Select Micro-experiences Please indicate how important the ability to do each of the following is or could be to you during your shopping and purchasing process. Scale: 1, not at all important - 7, absolutely essential) Visiting a retail store 4.7 4.7 Obtaining help in-store 4.7 4.4 4.5 Inventory visibility 3.8 Ratings & reviews 4.2 3.1 3.7 3.2 Controlling the view (zoom, rotate) 3.8 3.2 3.6 Online purchase w/o register 3.2 Buy online, pick up in-store 3.6 3.0 Web access to loyalty program 3.3 3.0 3.7 Asking/posting to a community 2.6 3.7 Online access to additional content 2.6 3.4 Customizing product online 2.7 3.6 Video viewing online 2.3 2.8 2.5 Home Electronics Apparel 2.9 n=642 n=1204 Multi-store checkout 2.4 past year HE buyers past year APP buyers The top seven features important to making purchase decisions are unsurprising. Many retailers are already supporting these experiences, improving them, or exploring how to do so. Ratings and reviews, for instance, have become an expected feature of web sites, responding to customers’ need for self-expression and validation in the form of opinions from other customers. According to Bazaarvoice, three years ago less than 10% of the top 100 retailers had implemented ratings and reviews. The value of this experience feature for customers has created a demand for it and retailers have responded—75% of the top 100 retailers currently have ratings and reviews. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 6. But ratings and reviews is a great example of a tool that, if evaluated based solely on the averages, might leave a large segment of customers with a less than appealing or relevant experience. While it was at or near the top in both importance and appeal, it was rated as significantly less important for apparel purchases than for home electronics. For apparel, the micro experience fell slightly below “controlling the view,” “receiving email notifications of a sale of an item on wish/shopping list,” and “making a purchase online without registering.” A review of the qualitative responses suggests that ratings and reviews are considered to be an invaluable tool when it comes to researching products that can be considered to have objective evaluation criteria. For more subjective purchases—where taste and emotion can trump rational criteria—ratings and reviews lose some of their importance and appeal. Apparel retailers might create more relevance for ratings and reviews by enabling customers to align with others who are like them. In other words, provide affinity-based ratings and reviews, or provide searchable reviews for keywords. The bottom eight features (chart, page 5) deemed important to purchase also indicates some interesting category differences. Video viewing online plays a far more crucial role in consumer electronics purchases than it does in apparel purchases, reflecting the greater need for user manuals brought to life, where the actual use of features of some complexity can be demonstrated. (In categories not tested by Resource, videos can serve as potent testimonials: online merchants such as PetsUnited, LLC—a niche pet supplies retailer with ten e-commerce sites— reports that the average sale tied to a video is 50% higher than sales made after consumers view just text and a product photo.) Great vertical disparity also exists for “reading community reviews” and “online access to additional content,” with consumer electronics purchasers deeming them more indispensable than do apparel shoppers, likely due, again, to the technical complexity of the products as well as their rapid rates of innovation and obsolescence. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 7. The Relative Importance of the Web Compared to Other Channels As online continues to grow as a sales channel, it is also proving invaluable for offline sales, though many retailers are slow to recognize this. In 2007, Forrester Research reports that online sales reached $175 billion, representing 7% of total retail sales ($2.48 trillion), and are projected to reach 11% of total sales by 2012. Says Kasey Lobaugh, direct-to-consumer practice leader at consultants Deloitte LLP, “CEOs will soon recognize that what they thought was 7% of sales driven by the web is actually about 50%, so there is going to be a big shift in investing in a webfocused multichannel retailing environment.” Even though the retail store is and will likely continue to be the number-one channel for most customers—from trying on apparel to finding inspiration by walking through a store to making a purchase—Resource Interactive’s study showed that the online channel is rivaling retail stores in importance as a decision-making vehicle during the buying process, particularly for home electronics, and has overtaken catalogs, advertising , and phone support for both home electronics and apparel purchases. How important were each of the following resources in helping you make your decisions on what items to purchase? (Scale: 1, not at all important – 7, absolutely essential) 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Retail Store Online/Internet Advertising Catalog Phone/Landline HOME ELECTRONICS APPAREL n=642 n=1204 past year HE buyers past year APP buyers Absolutely Essential Absolutely Essential At Least Important At Least Important ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 8. The mean importance of various communication channels (Scale: 1, not at all important – 7, absolutely essential) 4.7 4.7 Home Electronics 3.2 n=642 2.8 past year HE buyers 2.8 4.8 3.4 Apparel 2.9 n=1204 2.8 past year APP buyers 2.5 Retail Store Online/Internet Advertising Catalog Phone/Landline For home electronics, respondents rated online as important as retail stores. For apparel, while the web did not equal stores in importance, 7% of survey respondents told us that the online channel was absolutely essential 5 in making an apparel purchase decision, demonstrating a growing web dependence in a category that still has plenty of opportunity to meet customers’ needs online. Equally significant were the nearly 50% of respondents who felt it was at least important and the 65% who felt it was at least somewhat important to their apparel purchase decision process. How important were each of the following resources in helping you make your decisions on what items to purchase? (Scale: 1, not at all important – 7, absolutely essential) Apparel Electronics n=1204 past year APP buyers n=642 past year HE buyers 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Retail Store Retail Store Online/Internet Online/Internet Advertising Advertising Catalog Catalog Phone/Landline Phone/Landline Absolutely Extremely Very important Important Somewhat Slightly Not at all essential important important important important ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 9. The Relative Appeal of Select Micro-experiences No one would dispute that an exclusive focus on competitive parity results in consumer experience sameness and diminished opportunities for brand differentiation. But choosing among the plethora of emerging online experiences with the greatest potential for your brand means, in many ways, letting customers lead the way. Relative Appeal of Experience Features n= 46 US Adults 18-45 buyers of apparel and home electronics online within past 3 months We did just that by comparing customers’ quantitative and qualitative reactions to various experience tools, and learned the following: 1. Importance appears to be correlated with feature ubiquity and/or familiarity. 2. Customers’ ability to save time or money tended to elevate importance, appeal, or both. 3. Features that replaced or enhanced consumer’s self-created or makeshift shopping solutions and that build on existing behaviors had higher appeal than wholly original tools. 4. Some of the less widely adopted or “emerging” features were deemed highly appealing to the extent that they were applicable to specific product types or very specific needs of customer segments. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 10. Importance driven by ubiquity and/or familiarity The ranking of 30 experience features (for the full list, see Methodology, page 5) in the quantitative study shows the selected mobile applications at the bottom, likely due to the relative unfamiliarity U.S. consumers have with them. As with anything new, it is difficult for consumers to imagine the potential importance of something they have yet to experience, especially from a line item on a survey. In the focus group study, however, where Resource Interactive was able to provide context, and explore more deeply the relative appeal of these envisioned future applications, many micro-experiences scored higher ratings, including mobile shared shopping lists. Consumer unfamiliarity with a digital experience feature should not preclude further exploration of its potential. Saving time and money is still paramount There is one constant rule for supporting the consumers’ shopping journey: help them save time, money or ideally both. This was demonstrated vividly in the qualitative research, where the respondents were asked to describe the benefits of each experience. As one respondent put it, “This…saves time and money. What could be better?” Tools such as multistore checkout, mobile shopping lists, mobile shared shopping lists, mobile product comparison, receiving email notification of [relevant] sales, and product configurators were each called out as saving time, money or both, and generally rated relatively higher in the qualitative assessment. Respondents were more critical if they felt that using a feature would require too much effort to use or be limited by device compatibility issues. Appeal is driven by existing behaviors When respondents were asked to discuss the primary benefit of emerging experience tools such as mobile shared shopping lists, many described existing behaviors involving makeshift solutions to support their needs, indicating engagement in similar activities. For example, many respondents noted that they were already using the notes application on their mobile phones to create shopping lists. The potential to improve the efficiency of this list-making chore by allowing customers to scan bar codes to automatically add items to their shopping lists was seen as a major benefit, more so for frequently purchased products (such as groceries) than for “wishlist”-type purchases. The overall high appeal of mobile shopping lists, combined with the observation that consumers are already engaging in the activity, suggests very positive potential for such applications. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 11. Segmented Appeal The appealing experience features that ranked lower on the list of eighteen (refer to Relative Appeal of Experience Tools Chart) either resonated with a narrower customer segment or were perceived to serve a very specific purpose. Let’s take a look at a few of these: Zeroing In On Five Features For A Smaller (But Generally Enthusiastic) Audience 1. Mobile Shopping List “Now I just have a notes feature on my phone but it is hard to get to. This would greatly simplify this.”—Brian, 22 “It lessens the use of paper (helps the environment)…”—Jennifer, 32 “I probably wouldn’t use it unless/until the scanning feature was an option.”—Christina, 22 This shopping feature enables consumers to have one shopping list in their phone for all the different items they need to buy from different stores and to add an item to the list by scanning an empty package that they’re about to toss out, or by typing in an item they know they need. Adding an item to a shopping list is typically a spur of the moment thing: you just used the last light bulb, the kids just ate the last two bananas, or you just replaced the AC filters. Rather than keeping lots of paper lists for different stores, customers could simply have one list in their phones. Respondents ranked this feature second in terms of appeal. While all of the mobile tools tested fell toward the bottom of the rankings in terms of importance, statistically, the mobile shopping list was rated higher in importance with the 18–24 age group than for those 45+, and for households with children—a trend that carried through to nearly every mobile application tested. 2. Mobile Shared Shopping List “It would make it easier to get some help with some of the household responsibilities.”—Christine, 30 “…Much easier than calling someone and expecting them to jot down a shopping list while they’re driving.”—Penny, 35 Also known as the “Honey Do” feature, this one was of low importance but medium appeal—with older customers indicating higher appeal than younger ones.6 Retailers who should prioritize this feature are those selling frequently purchased products or categories to segments who share chores. It would likely enjoy fast adoption, as customers are already texting or calling en-route to communicate their shopping needs. Adding geo-location services could prevent trips back to the store. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 12. 3. Co-shopping “Wow. I think this is one of the coolest features yet…will virtually allow females to bring their best shopping buddy without using gas money.” —Rachel 23 “There have been times I was on the phone with a friend and we were trying to coordinate which pages/products we were looking at while shopping for and comparing various electronics. This would make that much easier.”—Kevin, 22 “My mother and I are always cutting and pasting things from sites to each other… This would be a nice way to shop together from far away, and get it done instantly, instead of waiting for the other to check their email.”—Kerryann, 36 As experienced by respondents via the ShopTogether7 tool on, this feature rated low in appeal; it was also rated low in importance. But respondents were quick to note that co-shopping would be very useful when buying group gifts, suggesting relevance for registrybased services. Many also acknowledged regularly engaging in behaviors such as copying and pasting product images, emailing them, and using webcams and instant messaging in an attempt to co-shop online, showing they are already engaged in the behavior. 4. Outfitting “Sensational. I paired several outfits together, two of which I (assumed) originally to look nice together. I was wrong. This layer your look service sure saved me from a disappointing return.”—Emelda, 42 “Yes. Yes. Yes. I love it. You get just that—VISUALIZATION!!! ...No dressing room, no line to checkout in. I could put outfits together in the comfort of my own home without my screaming children asking ‘when are you done,’ or ‘I have to go to the bathroom,’ etc.”—Christine, 30 “I don’t layer pieces of clothing so it’s not particularly useful to me.” —Jeremy, 21 Respondents found drag-and-drop configurators, such as Martin+Osa’s “Layer Your Look” outfitting tool, moderately appealing and moderately important to their buying process. What these averages fail to capture, as was often the case, is the keen enthusiasm a minority of respondents had for this feature. Respondents—men and women alike—who rated this tool highly used emphatic language such as “love,” “sensational,” “amazing,” and “fantastic.” Negative comments focused on the desire for the tool to go further—to address different sizes and shapes rather than what ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 13. was perceived as a static, model-sized mannequin. Some respondents who considered themselves piece-shoppers rather than outfit-buyers were indifferent to the tool. For retailers looking to engage multi-item outfit purchasers, this tool represents the potential to convert consumers and increase the average order size. 5. Customization “I love the fact that I am able to design my apparel the way I want it…”—Dawn, 23 “Customizing something gives me a very satisfying shopping experience, which leaves me very content with my purchase.” —Rossy, 25 “If a clothes store had full customization, I would definitely shop there and buy from them if they were able to keep the price pretty competitive.”—Ryan, 20 “A fantastic concept. It was fun; I tried several different looks till the perfect shirt represented me. I felt like the designer.”—Emelda, 42 Respondents’ reactions to customization were consistent with other research studies that have found customers to be more satisfied when they have played a part in the production of a product or service. As the average appeal for customization was high and the average importance moderate, we did further research into the feature and compared it to one known to be a strong driver of purchase intent: ratings and reviews. Customization is in a near dead heat with ratings and reviews in terms of purchase intent: an average of 44% of respondents indicated they would be at least “a little more likely to make a purchase” with customization features (50% said this for home electronics, 40% for apparel). With ratings and reviews, an average 46% of respondents said they would be “at least a little more likely to make a purchase”— with 59% saying so for home electronics purchases and 40% indicating so for apparel. With such positive response relative to purchase intent, customization clearly provides a value-add to many consumers. It represents an opportunity for retailers to engage customers emotionally with their purchase(s)—leading ideally to brand preference—and the feature’s product differentiation possibilities can only bolster brand differentiation. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 14. A New Customer Journey What is clear from the above research is that retailers must understand their customers before introducing or retooling an experiential feature. The customer journey has changed and the classic marketing funnel no longer applies. Instead of being able to spend large sums of money to build brand awareness and create a macro experience tied principally to a web site, retailers have to support myriad micro-experiences along the path to purchase, so many, in fact, that the middle of the journey has expanded, causing the funnel to resemble a fish. Micro-experiences such as mobile in-store promos can be compelling enough to start a purchase journey where there might not otherwise have been one. And the community features that are the hallmark of the social web cannot be underestimated as potential starting points for purchase, or as gathering points between like-minded consumers whose tastes—and ideally, marketer-piqued interest—have given them reason to share, connect and recommend. Classic Marketing Funnel Awareness Consideration Trial Purchase Loyalty New Customer Journey ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 15. Measuring the Micro-Experience One shortcoming of web analytics is that they stop short at what customers are doing. There is a built-in supposition that what is being provided is the absolute in terms of what customers need. Customer research supplements the what by understanding why they are doing something. Tracking just the what omits why customers take an action, or perhaps more important, why they are not doing something else—why or even how they may or may not be able to accomplish what they set out to. Thanks to the online channel’s ability to provide a wealth of data, retailers have become quite proficient in monitoring online conversion, bounce rate, time spent on sites and click-thru rates. With the emergence and proliferation of the micro- experience, retailers need to add another dimension of analytics to their arsenal: task completion rate. Customers are determined to accomplish what they set out to do, and this includes utilitarian and hedonic goals, regardless of whether the right tools or experiences are provided. So measuring customer intent as it relates to a specific goal that may be a step or connection point within a larger “transaction” will help retailers understand where consumers go on their path to purchase, and how satisfying various junctures were to them. Following Their Lead On the social web, customers are producing a data-rich digital footprint—a de facto invitation for everyone to know them. Customer research is now more accessible through methodologies such as virtual anthropology (mining the web and collecting findings from digital footprints); partnering with companies such as Foresee or TeaLeaf for online surveys; through customer interviews, focus groups and other traditional qualitative methods. There are, of course, many degrees of qualitative understanding of customers’ intentions, motivations and needs, but even the slightest qualitative insights should be married to your quantitative data to create a highly informed set of priorities for digital shopping experience innovation. The online channel has become an integral part of customers’ purchase journeys— and the online portion of these journeys has dilated, flowered, grown infinitely layered and complex. As we have seen, customers will create makeshift solutions to help them accomplish their goals. The opportunity for retailers to create another value dimension for customers —ideally both practical and social—lies in investing in the enhancement or introduction of new microexperiences that capitalize on preexisting behaviors and motivations. The online channel offers unlimited potential for growth through differentiation but only to those retailers willing to mine the microexperiential level of the web for what is emerging today but essential tomorrow. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 16. End Notes 1 This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Resource Interactive between August 8 and August 12, 2008 among 2,088 U.S. adults, 1,846 of whom had purchased home electronics or apparel products in the past year. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available. 2 Respondents were asked, “Please indicate how important the ability to do each of the following is or could be to you in helping you during your shopping and purchasing process for home electronics/apparel, even if you have never done them in the past.” Responses were scored 1-7 based on the following options: (1) not at all important, (2) slightly important, (3) somewhat important, (4) important, (5) very important, (6) extremely important, and (7) absolutely essential. Each respondent was asked the question for one of the two catagories: home electronic or apparel. 3 Two online bulletin boards were conducted within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Resource Interactive between July 8 and July 11, 2008 among 46 U.S. adults between the ages of 18–45 who had purchased apparel or home electronics online within the past 3 months. 4 While a majority of the experiences were tested in both the qualitative and quantitative studies, there was not 100% overlap. Some experiences were deemed too difficult to communicate in quantitative (which were not supported by context and/or potential for clarification as in the qualitative). Additionally, some experiences were substituted in the quantitative—such as “visiting a retail store”—to serve as recognizable benchmarks. 5 Respondents were asked “Thinking about your home electronics/apparel purchases over the past year, how important were each of the following resources in helping you to make your decisions on what home electronics/apparel item(s) to purchase? When answering, please think about the entire purchase process, including researching what to purchase, determining where to purchase, deciding what to purchase, and anything else related to your home electronics/apparel purchase decisions.” Responses were scored 1-7 based on the following options: (1) not at all important, (2) slightly important, (3) somewhat important, (4) important, (5) very important, (6) extremely important, and (7) absolutely essential. 5a Disclaimer: We want to note that this was a self-reported survey. As a result, customers may not be aware of and/or acknowledge the importance of advertising in the same way we may define advertising. 6 Appeal was rated via qualitative bulletin boards, so results must be considered directional. 7 Powered by Decision Step Disclaimer: Data presentation and analysis are the responsibility of Resource Interactive. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 17. About, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading membership community for digital retail. Founded in 1996,’s 700 members include the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. and more than 60 percent of the Internet Retailer Top 100 E-Retailers. It’s where the best retail minds come together to gain the insight, knowledge and intelligence to make smarter, more informed decisions in the evolving world of the Internet and multichannel retailing. Shop. org programs and activities include benchmarking research, events and networking communities. Learn more at Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) company, provides software that enables retailers to connect, communicate and collaborate with customers, partners and suppliers to simplify crosschannel execution. The company’s multi-channel selling applications enable retailers to provide customers and partners with a personalized and unified buying experience across all channels. Its multi-channel fulfillment applications cost effectively orchestrate global order and service fulfillment across the extended enterprise. The company’s business process integration solutions enable retailers to streamline internal and external business processes and collaborate with an unparalleled community of supply chain partners. Learn more at AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation’s leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.
  • 18. offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company list. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at Resource Interactive is one of the nation’s preeminent digital marketing agencies, helping Fortune 500 companies thrive in the evolving internet economy with award-winning digital strategy, creative and technology solutions. Known for its revolutionizing consumer insights, leading edge interactive design and technological innovation, Resource Interactive is ranked among the top ten independent interactive agencies in the nation. Unique in the industry as female-founded, owned and operated, Resource Interactive has grown over its 28-year history from its first marketing relationship with Apple to ongoing partnerships with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Hewlett- Packard, The Coca-Cola Company, Victoria’s Secret, Sherwin-Williams and L.L. Bean, among others. For more information, visit 343 North Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215 ph 614 621 2888 ph 800 550 5815 fx 614 621 2873 © 2008 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or FOR MORE INFORMATION, EMAIL: AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners. ©2009 Resource Interactive. All rights reserved.