digiDigitasLBi's 2015 Connected Commerce study of retail trends, which is now in its fourth year, reveals a significant rise in the use of connected devices and an increase in social commerce, reminding retailers to personalize the shopping experience in order to boost sales. According to the study findings, shoppers expect omnichannel and multi-screen experiences from brands and retailers today, stating that the average global consumer uses a total of five devices when making a purchase, which is a significant increase from the 2.8 devices reported in 2014.

Following the rapid growth of omnichannel commerce, DigitasLBi recently launched DigitasLBi Commerce - a next-generation connected commerce offering designed to help businesses thrive in the omnichannel world. DigitasLBi Commerce specializes in digital commerce implementation, systems integration, application support and managed services. These skills sit alongside DigitasLBi's core brand building, experience design, content creation and distribution capabilities to create a world-leading connected commerce offering.

Beside computers, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, consumers are rapidly embracing wearable technologies as well, with 17% of shoppers revealing that they now own a wearable device - a figure that is likely to rise with the Apple Watch and similar devices that offer potentially new in-store experiences.

DigitasLBi's Connected Commerce study also shows that in 2015 shoppers are increasingly comfortable going beyond the traditional eCommerce experience. For instance, 43% of Singaporean respondents said they have made a mobile purchase in the last 30 days.

Products and services that allow this new breed of connected consumer to act on impulse are also proving popular. The survey shows that in-store pick-up is becoming a particular favorite of shoppers, with 51% taking advantage of 'click and collect' services globally.

"Customers want to save time and money whilst being able to choose from more ways to shop than ever before. Mobile is now the platform of choice for shoppers, with nearly 90% of those surveyed regionally stating that using the device to compare prices has changed the way they shop," says Roy Capon, APAC CEO of DigitasLBi. "We also know that 56% of smartphone users would be happy to use their devices to pay in-store. With the launch of Apple Pay and the growing number of start-ups in the in-store payment arena both globally and specifically in Asia, 2015 could well be the year of mobile payment."

According to DigitasLBi's findings, personalizing the shopping experience is the surest way to the consumer's pocket: 76% of Singaporean respondents claim they buy more and/or more often when they encounter personalized retail experiences. A further 27% actively look for personalized offers when shopping online and 75% log in to eCommerce websites that cater for their personal preferences based on previous behavior.

The demand for personalization goes beyond the online experience, with 86% of shoppers admitting they are more likely to embrace new in-store technologies such as GPS and WiFi tracking, if they receive customized benefits in return, such as personalized money-off vouchers.

"Personalizing the shopping experience and tailoring it to the needs of individual shoppers is a sure-fire way to attract more customers and boost profits both online and in-store," says Capon. "But we are just at the start of this journey. The in-store experience needs to become more agile, more digital and more connected. Retailers need to get smarter about using data in order to personalize the shopping experience to increase sales performance."

DigitasLBi's Connected Commerce study shows further that social media is influencing an increasing number of purchases both on and off-line. Overall, Facebook is leading the way with 65% of Singaporean users now admitting that the social network impacts their way of shopping. This compares to 62% for YouTube, 57% for Instagram and 37% for Twitter. Social shopping is also rapidly gaining traction, with 35% of Singaporean and up to 51% of Chinese consumers claiming to have purchased an item directly via a social media platform.

By MediaBUZZ