Today, shoppers have an ever-evolving world of resources at their fingertips to help them choose and buy products. To help retail marketers better understand the mindset of omnichannel consumers, we set out to uncover how retail shoppers navigate the path to purchase.The study surveyed 1,598 US shoppers—ages 18 and older—who had made a purchase in the previous three months. The categories we will explore in this article are Media & Entertainment,1 Apparel & Accessories,2 Household Staples3 and Health, Household & Personal Care.4 All data included in this article is from the commissioned Accenture research.

How do retail shoppers discover new brands and products?

When it comes to discovering new brands and products, both online and in-store channels play key roles for shoppers. Our research shows that online discovery is particularly important for shoppers in Media & Entertainment, Apparel & Accessories and Household Staples, with 60% of them discovering new products online. For Health, Household & Personal Care, although shoppers hear about new brands and products offline 59% of the time, online discovery is becoming more common. We found that 28% of Health, Household & Personal Care shoppers have discovered more products online over the previous year.

The Facebook family of apps5 is the top source of online discovery for shoppers in all the categories surveyed. Our research shows that 38% of Household Staples shoppers and 37% of Media & Entertainment shoppers find new products on the Facebook family of apps. This makes Media & Entertainment shoppers 2.4x more likely to discover a product on a Facebook app than on a retailer website (37% vs 15%).

Mobile devices are also proving to be an important discovery channel, particularly in Household Staples, Media & Entertainment and Apparel & Accessories.

Sources unless stated otherwise: Facebook IQ, Aug 2018.