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Unlocking exactly what retailers can do in order to elicit higher premiums from shoppers is not a secret. In fact, it’s quite simple.

It all comes down to positive customer experiences.

And yet this Christmas season, all too many retailers will get it wrong.

According to a new survey from SDL, in its annual Holiday Shopping Preferences 2013 study*, some 60 per cent of shoppers believe a positive customer experience is essential.

“Organisations that are able to consistently deliver compelling and engaging experiences, across media and geographies, are those that are poised to be successful this holiday season,” Mark Lancaster, CEO of SDL said.

Key findings from the research included:

Traditional dates continue to lose relevance: the traditional ‘big shopping dates’ matter less to consumers worldwide, as the vast majority of shoppers confirmed that they’re not waiting for specific days (such as Boxing Day) to begin their holiday spending.

Mobile right for research, but purchases stagnate: While mobile commerce technology continues to evolve, the majority of consumers in the US (64 per cent), UK (68 per cent) and Australia (67 per cent) are not using a tablet or smartphone more this year to purchase gifts. Mobile is a valuable research tool, however, as 45 per cent of all respondents use mobile devices to conduct research.

‘Showrooming’ remains relevant: More than half of the holiday respondents this year are researching products they want to buy directly in the store (55 per cent). This is a more common research option than the use of online tools such as retailer websites (42 per cent) and other ecommerce sites (26 per cent).

Product research diversifies, but social lags behind: Despite the growing popularity of social channels, only 5 per cent of respondents learn about products on Facebook and Google+; less than 2 percent on Pinterest and Twitter.

Workplace shopping is a myth: 71 per cent of global shoppers shop during personal time – and not during work time – challenging the belief that online holiday shopping drains workplace productivity. The study also found that more than 40 per cent of US shoppers prefer to shop in the evening while consumers in the UK and Australia prefer to shop in the morning.

*The study surveyed over 4,000 consumers across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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