It's hardly a secret that consumers are rapidly adopting new touchpoints to help them shop.

But the killer question that every eBusiness executive must be able to answer is, how quickly are consumers adopting any given touchpoint and how influential are they in the overall shopping experience?  

Touchpoint adoption varies significantly around the globe. For consumers, cost, availability, trust in new technology and convenience are primary drivers of how quickly they embrace new technologies into the shopping journey. But adoption isn't all about consumers. Retailer enablement is also a key factor in the adoption curve. If retailers provide touchpoint optimized, rich, convenient experiences that exploit the best features of each new touchpoint while still supporting the overall brand experience, they are more likely to drive consumer adoption.

There are some great examples around the world for firms embracing new technology to make the shopping experience as simple, easy and friction-free as possible for their shoppers, no matter which touchpoint they chose to use. For instance:

  • Blue Tomato gives shoppers freedom of choice. German action sports retailer Blue Tomato leverages responsive design to give multi-touchpoint shoppers freedom to pick whatever device they want. The upside – a seamless and consistent customer experience coupled with a lower cost of ownership for a single code base. The downside – more complex code and more testing when they make changes.
  • Nikon engages cross-touchpoint customers after they buy. Camera manufacturer Nikon plots out its customer engagement post-purchase. As Nikon customers tend to be infrequent shoppers, Nikon carefully maps customers to specific ownership journeys, such as ameteur or professional photogropher, and engages via email, web and mobile touchpoints to educate and inspire their customers as they learn to use their cameras. Ultimately this aims to create a deeper customer relationship across multiple touchpoints, resulting in sales of accessories, or customers remaining with the brand as they upgrade their camera.

This is complex stuff. So to help simplify it, Forrester has created a new retail segmentation. It helps eBusiness executives understand the adoption patterns of consumer technology, and therefore know where to focus their efforts in optimizing on a market by market basis. So if you are wrestling with the issue of should you or shouldn’t you go mobile or tablet specific for a given market, or how do shoppers use the web as a research tool rather than purely for eCommerce, Forrester’s Global Retail Segmentation can help.