Glassbox (credit image/Pixabay/ DarkoStojanovic)Glassbox has published the results of a new consumer shopping survey, “Digital Holiday Shopping Experiences: Expectations vs. Reality.” The results showcase how the consumer shopping experience is evolving for digital and mobile channels with increasingly high customer expectations placed on ease of navigation, convenience and personalised shopping experiences. Glassbox is a provider of digital experience intelligence for web and mobile applications.

The two-part survey reveals insights into how US consumers planned to engage brands and retailers prior to the Cyber Weekend. The research explored how they actually engaged brands and retailers during Cyber Weekend. Results show that, with few exceptions, how consumers planned to shop matched how they actually did shop.

Where expectations matched reality

  • Before conducting Cyber Weekend shopping, 57% of consumers said they planned to shop via mobile apps. When the weekend arrived, 63% actually did shop via mobile apps.
  • 80% of those who shopped via mobile app were satisfied with the experience.
  • 26% of consumers planned to shop via marketplace websites (such as, and 25% of consumers did so.
  • 17% of consumers planned to shop directly through brand or retail websites; 18% of consumers actually did.
  • 32% of consumers planned to shop in-person this year, and 31% did so.
  • The most important factors for a good shopping experience were personalized product recommendations and flexible return policies:
    • 24% said personalised product recommendations were most important before shopping; 29% said it was most important during shopping.
    • 22% said flexible return policies were most important prior to shopping; 23% said so after shopping.

Focus on digital experience pays off for retailers

  • Only 41% of consumers said they were likely to engage in “pre-shopping” activities online, such as browsing items or adding them to a wish list, before the Black Friday and Cyber Weekend sales. However, retailers successfully engaged 70% of consumers in pre-shopping activities.
  • Prior to holiday shopping, 45% of consumers said they would abandon a purchase if they encountered a problem during checkout. In practice, only 23% of consumers abandoned purchases due to checkout issues.
  • 66% of consumers said that access to live customer support while shopping would be important, yet only 54% of consumers had to engage customer support while shopping.

Unrealised opportunities remain

  • Before Cyber Weekend, 84% of consumers said they would be willing to install and shop through a retailer’s mobile app if it gave them access to better pricing or sales. In reality, only 31% downloaded a new mobile app for better pricing or sales.
  • 31% of consumers expected their shopping to be influenced by TikTok. However, only 13% actually made a purchase on TikTok during Cyber Weekend. The survey did not seem to draw out whether purchases were influenced by Tiktok
(credit image/PIxabay/Debbie Braney)
Debbie Braney, SVP of Global Marketing at Glassbox

The data clearly shows that customers continue to shift their holiday shopping to digital channels and have high expectations for their digital customer experience. We also see that retailers are more consistently meeting those expectations,” said Debbie Braney, SVP of Global Marketing at Glassbox. “Delivering seamless digital experiences is paramount to capturing holiday shopping revenue and also to building long-term customer loyalty. Brands that reduce friction and use data to personalize experiences will turn browsers into buyers and keep customers coming back.”

Survey methodology

Results are based on two Dynata surveys conducted in November 2023, with each survey targeting 1,000 US consumers over 18 years of age. Part one of the survey was issued prior to Cyber Weekend to gain insights into how consumers planned to shop. Part two was conducted following Cyber Weekend to gauge how consumers actually shopoed for the annual retail holiday.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

Cyber Weekend is one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. Smart retailers understand the consumer preferences and behaviours is vital to delivering exceptional customer experiences. Glassbox’s data sheds some interesting light on the evolving consumer trends that helped shape this year’s holiday retail landscape.

The report is also a useful reminder to brands and retailers to adopt an omnichannel approach to commerce. While in-person experiences may be relevant for some brands, the popularity of digital channels suggests a shift towards convenience, variety and competitive pricing. Moreover, consumer interest in brand-specific websites and apps shows the importance of establishing a strong digital presence. It highlights the importance of building relationships that offer unique value propositions and engage customers directly. Consumers know how they want to engage. Brands and retailers have to meet their expectations for where, when and how they prefer to shop.


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