UK consumers use different technologies and channels in each stage of their journey toward a purchase decision, according to a new Forrester report based on a survey of more than 1,500 respondents. 

For example, when consumers discover a product, offline channels still rule in the UK. TV is the single most effective channel to build brand awareness, with half of UK online adults saying that this is how they typically discover new products and services, followed by offline stores, speaking with friends and family, and seeing print ads. The odds change, though, for 16- to 24-year-olds: More than a quarter of them discover products through online search, and a quarter of them discover through online stores — that’s nearly twice as likely for this group, compared with the 35-plus age group.

In the explore and buy phases of the UK customer’s journey, online is now mainstream. Amazon tops the list of sources that consumers use to research their future purchases at 25%, followed by search engines at 19%, and retailer’s websites other than Amazon at 17%. Only 13% of UK consumers said they visited a store as part of their research, although that number climbs with the consumer’s age. Seventy-two percent of UK online consumers have ordered products or services online in the past three months. This jumps to a whopping 79% for consumers aged 25 to 34.  

Most UK brands have yet to align their marketing programs to match these varied consumer behaviors, writes Forrester. The result is an inconsistent experience across the customer life cycle, which can lead to lost market share. 

Forrester clients can access the full report here.