This week has seen the release of Capgemini’s “Digital Shopper Relevancy” report. This follows on the back of a long running series of “Shopper Relevancy” reports; however this latest report focused on the use of digital channels by the shopper.

The study which underpins this report interviewed over 16,000 shoppers from 16 countries across the globe, including those in developing and mature markets.

The questions were focused on five product categories (food, health and personal care, fashion (clothing, footwear, accessories), do-it-yourself home improvement (DIY) and electronics) and the shopping journey was broken into five key aspects (Awareness, Choosing, Transaction, Delivery and Aftersales Care).

All channels were explored – including in store, online, email, social media, and mobile – for the different phases in the shopping journey for the respondents.

This article will look at just some of the highlights of the report; mainly the segmentation of shoppers. For those interested in the full report, a copy can be found on our website through this link: Digital Shopper Relevancy.

There is no “one” digital shopper

Just as there are multiple channels to digital shopping, there is not just one digital shopper to cater for. This study identified 6 key segments of shoppers through detailed segmentation analysis. This showed their behaviours are impacted by factors such as age, gender, product category, journey phase, market maturity, and attitudes and expectations about technology.

A summary of the six segments can be found below:


Proportion of respondents


Key demographics

Techno-Shy Shoppers


Not frequent or confident online shoppers, rarely use smartphone apps. Slight interest in social media but prefer personal contact. Both young students and  older consumers and many of them come from Continental Europe
Occasional Online Shoppers


Shop online infrequently. If they do use digital channels, prefer Internet, e-mail and in-store technology. Use digital channels primarily for choosing and comparing products and tracking deliveries. Slightly more likely to be women than men and also are likely to be high school and college graduates; 56% of Occasional Online Shoppers are  older than 45.
Value Seekers


Shop online primarily to find the best deals on products they know they want. Typical online purchases include fashion and personal healthcare items. More likely to be women (63%) than men, and are also somewhat more likely to be retired than their counterparts in the other segments. Sixty percent of Value Seekers are over the age of 45.
Rational Online Shoppers


Relatively confident online shoppers buying mostly fashion products and electronics. Value well-functioning online stores with clearly marked product information, pricing and delivery charges. Equally divided between men and women and 25% of them are retired. They are particularly prevalent in Finland and the UK.
Digital Shopaholics


Early adopters and experimenters and are prevalent among the digital-savvy shoppers. Expect the full integration of the physical, online and mobile shopping experience by 2014. More likely to be men than women and they work full time; 60% have a college degree or higher.
Social Digital Shoppers


Very optimistic about the use of all digital technology. Digitally savvy and describe themselves as frequent and confident online shoppers. Heavy users of social media and want to share opinions and experiences through digital channels and are active users of mobile applications and services. More likely to be under the age of 35 (45%) and 11% are students. Social Digital Shoppers are especially prevalent in developing markets such as India, China and Mexico.

 These segments highlight the differing shopper that retailers have to satisfy on an ongoing basis. As well as highlighting the shopping journey in terms of the customer segments, there are features worth highlighting across the products and the channels on a more general level.

Across all these phases, Internet sites remain the dominant digital channel in all the product categories studied, followed by e-mail. For example, 79% of electronics shoppers said the Internet is important during the Awareness phase; 74% of DIY shoppers said the same; 73% of fashion shoppers; 70% of health and personal care shoppers; and 59% of food shoppers.

The most popular product for purchase online is electronics with 54% of respondents recorded as making a purchase in the area in the previous six months. Second is fashion with about half having made a purchase. Fashion also came out as the category for which social media is used more than for any other category. DIY was the lowest for purchases online with just 21% being made across all the counties in the previous six months. The UK however was amongst the counties with the highest rates of online DIY purchases along with Italy and China. 

So what is the value?

A key question is how the use of digital channels may impact consumer spending. The research found some interesting correlations. For example, 56% of respondents said they were likely to spend more money at a physical store if they had used digital channels to research the product prior to purchase. And 55% said they were more likely to spend more money with a particular retailer if products were available anytime via any channel.

The findings of this study demonstrate that it is important to know who your customer is and what they expect. If your main clientele is the over 65 range then it is unlikely you will target the widest collection of customers through social media and smartphone apps, however if you are targeting the professional this may be exactly how to reach them.

As mentioned earlier, this is just a highlight of some of the findings from the study, but in this brief overview, there are definitely some interesting points to bear in mind.