From Like to Buy

— Tiffany Cook, President of Consumer 

To say the way we shop has changed is like saying “The Bachelor” is a show about finding love. It’s true, but it doesn’t totally capture what’s going on.

As consumers, we can hardly remember a time (and many might not want to) before Amazon Prime shipped our paper towels, Blue Apron delivered food or Stitch Fix shipped new outfits — all right to our doorstep. And for retailers on the other side of the equation, trying to capture the attention of an ever-elusive customer base, keeping up with these dramatic shifts is a challenge, to say the least.

To help retailers, last year WE released the research report “Romancing the Store” filled with insights into how women shoppers, ages 25−40, engage in today’s technology-infused shopping experience. It told how to keep the romance alive and develop a long-term bond with customers.

Today, in partnership with YouGov, WE builds on those key points with “From Like to Buy,” a report on women’s social and, surprisingly, antisocial behavior in shopping.

Among the many eye-catching insights, a few could have a monumental impact on how retailers reach customers:

  • Nearly 40 percent of women would rather forego makeup, sweets or sex for at least a month rather than shop through social media. For now, the hype about social media shopping is still just hype. While most of the women in our study were likely to discover new products on social media, they were not ready to buy directly from Twitter or Facebook.
  • Retail store apps are largely useless. Despite large investments and headlines to the contrary, only 9% of the women we surveyed made purchases through a retailer’s apps, often opting for the mobile site.
  • Gen X goes both ways. Bookended by two larger generations (Millennials and Baby Boomers), Gen Xers hold sway over the purchasing habits of both and demonstrate shopping habits of both — spending their considerable discretionary income both in-store on online.

Should retailers shut down their social media accounts? Definitely not. Social media channels are still important for discovery, but it may be time to take a second look at your mobile site experience, which is increasingly becoming a destination of choice when she’s purchasing on her smartphone. Insight like this, which highlights where customers are and how they buy, can guide how you connect with them.

If you want to find out what this can mean for your business, download our report highlights and connect with us.