In Salesforce’s third edition of its Connected Shoppers Report, it reveals that British and Irish shoppers are jumping across physical and digital destinations as they browse, purchase and request service and support, with 4% of purchases occurring on emerging digital touchpoints that are completely separate from retailers’ and brands’ owned properties.

“This year’s Connected Shopper Report highlights the importance of convenience and the growing maturity of propositions to give retailers a competitive edge.” said Jamie Merrick, Director of Strategic Solutions.

“Our research shows that on average, customers use eight channels to communicate with brands, so the nirvana for retailers is having a 360-degree view which gives them visibility of every touch point.

“Regardless of the channels they are using, the success of retailers still relies on having the right strategy in place when it comes to their product, pricing and service offering. Achieving the right balance in terms of their core proposition and omnichannel approach means retailers will continue to attract and retain customers.”

The main takeaways from the report are:

Retailers, brands and online marketplaces are battling for wallet share

In an era of constant connectivity, hyper-personalized engagement, and new business models like direct-to-consumer for brands, shopping today looks nothing like its former self. 90% of British and Irish shoppers buy from a combination of retailers, brands and online marketplaces.

Shopping is evolving, as consumers define new terms of engagement

Today, retail is more than a transaction at a checkout counter. Vendor-shopper relationships are strengthened when consumers feel understood and special. In fact, 46% of British and Irish shoppers said they tend to shop with a specific brand in mind. The report shows that exclusive shopping experiences and promotions are a valuable way for companies to build loyalty (and lucrative) relationships.

Shopper journeys are moving to the edge of vendor-owned channels

Other research shows that the proliferation of digital touchpoints has led global consumers to use an average of eight channels to communicate with companies. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, 20% of shoppers use mobile wallet, 10% use social media, and 2% use messaging apps to make purchases.

Stores remain critical as discovery, experience and fulfillment hubs

Brick-and-mortar stores remain as relevant as ever, with their roles evolving into hubs of discovery, experience and fulfillment. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the top reasons to shop in-store are to touch and feel the merchandise, to get merchandise immediately, and the overall in-store experience. The report also shows that 81% of British and Irish shoppers have purchased a product online for in-store pickup.