Ninety Percent of Holiday Shoppers Expect Consistent Brand Experiences Across Channels and Devices According to SDL Survey

Global survey results demonstrate importance of consistent, omni-channel customer experiences this holiday shopping season

Wakefield, MA & Maidenhead, UK


Ninety percent of consumers said they expect the customer experience to be consistent across channels and devices used to interact with brands this holiday shopping season, according to a new global study of more than 3,000 consumers by SDL (LSE: SDL). This is a growing expectation from shoppers, representing a 17 percent increase from what consumers reported last year.

Considering that half of holiday shoppers use their mobile devices to research possible gifts before purchasing them in-store and six in 10 holiday shoppers do at least some showrooming – going to stores to evaluate products but then purchasing online – brands should make it a priority that the customer experience is consistent across channels and devices, something many consumers have reported frustrations with.

Specifically, 47 percent of holiday shoppers have been frustrated that in-store impressions are different from online impressions and 40 percent have reported a disconnect between the information available online versus in stores. Further validating the need for consistency, the top two reasons shoppers say they are loyal to their favorite brands are consistent, predictable service and a consistent experience across all devices they use to interact with the brand.

“Consumers today engage with organizations through multiple touchpoints,” said Mark Lancaster, CEO and founder, SDL. “This holiday season, more than ever, brands need to be prepared to cater to shoppers wherever they are as they research and purchase products – in store, online or on their mobile devices. A consistent, superior experience across all interaction channels has become something that customers not only expect, but they demand it; and the brands that can best meet this demand will build customer relationships that continue long after the holiday season.”  

Additional survey findings have revealed:

  • Sixty-six percent of consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for a positive customer experience; though this varies across generations and genders.
  • o Seventeen percent of 18-29 year-olds strongly agree that they are willing to pay more for a product if the brand delivers a positive customer experience. Those aged 30-39, feel even more so, with 19 percent agreeing strongly. However, this percentage dips with the older generations. Just 8 and 6 percent of those aged 40-54 and 55+, respectively, strongly agreed with this.
    o Males and females also feel differently about paying more for a positive customer experience; 12 percent of males compared to 9 percent of females strongly agreed with this.
  • The top three resources to research products are: in-store (63 percent), online search (46 percent) and retailer website (32 percent). Twenty percent of consumers say they still use catalogues as a resource to research products as well.
  • Seventy percent of those aged 55+ say that in-store browsing is their top resource for shopping research, compared to 57 percent of those aged 18-29.
  • The top three frustrations with online shopping include: shows out-of-stock items (60 percent), not enough information available (52 percent) and in store impressions are different from online impressions (47 percent).
  • Holiday shoppers rely on their desktop computers for both research (83 percent) and for purchasing (79 percent).
  • A smaller, but still significant, segment of shoppers will use their tablet (31 percent) or smartphone (24 percent) for research, but there is a large fall-off in using a tablet (20 percent) or smartphone (12 percent) for purchasing.
  • Shoppers over the age of 40 are most likely to use computers for research, while tablets are most used by those aged 30-39 and smartphones are used most by 18-29 years-old shoppers.

To learn more about the survey, please visit our Holiday Shopper page. To download a copy of the infographic, please click here.

Learn how to better engage with holiday shoppers this season during SDL-hosted webcasts on November 12 in NASA and EMEA and November 13 in APAC.

Get in touch

About SDL

SDL, part of RWS Holdings plc, is the intelligent language and content company. Our purpose is to enable global understanding, allowing organizations to communicate with their audiences worldwide, whatever the language, channel or touchpoint. We work with over 4,500 enterprise customers including 90 of the world’s top brands and the majority of the largest companies in our target sectors. We help our customers overcome their content challenges of volume, velocity, quality, fragmentation, compliance and understanding through our unique combination of language services, language technologies and content technologies.