These days, eCommerce business owners would do well to study customer shopping habits so that they can find novel ways to target eCustomers and, in turn, help grow the business. Here are 15 online shopping habits that every eCommerce business owner should know.
1. More and more consumers are preferring to buy products online using their smartphones and tablets. As such, online business owners should focus on developing responsive eCommerce websites. An article in Wired predicts that in a few years the smartphone is all consumers will need as “increased processing power, better battery life, vastly improved networking speeds, and larger screen sizes on mobile devices” are all accelerating the shift away from the desktop or laptop.
2. Consumers prefer to shop online via mobile because they can compare prices and they enjoy an easy check-out process. Also, among millennials who purchase online, mobile is the most used, which is why online business owners should seriously consider optimizing their websites for mobile—if they haven’t already—to take advantage of this rapidly growing target market.
3. About one-third of consumers in North America are open to transitioning from using a physical wallet to a virtual one. Thirty-four percent of consumers ages twenty-five to thirty-four are willing to switch from a physical to a virtual/mobile wallet.
4. Online reviews are influencing the way people buy products online. For instance, 71 percent of consumers believe that online reviews are essential to them when thinking of buying in such categories as electronics, appliances, home décor, and more. And in the case of women buyers, 85 percent believe that eCommerce product reviews are extremely important when buying products online. In fact, only 1 percent of consumers don’t believe that online reviews are important.
5. On a worldwide scale, the top products that consumers purchase online are books, movies, music, and video games.
6. About 60 percent of consumers buy online at least once a month, and 24 percent shop online at least weekly. Of those who buy online once a week, 30 percent are men, while 18 percent are women.
7. About 39 percent of online buyers who use a smartphone prefer using an app versus 61 percent who choose a mobile web browser, while 31 percent of those using a tablet prefer shopping on an app versus 69 percent who prefer a mobile browser. In 2015, smartphones drove 33.7 percent of all online traffic compared to 12.4 percent for tablets. However, tablets led to 12.4 percent of all online sales while smartphones accounted for 10.7 percent. Tablet users also averaged $98.56 per order, versus smartphone users, who averaged $92.37 per order.
8. Millennials are sensitive to price when buying online. In fact, price is the greatest determiner for millennials’ purchasing decisions and trumps all other factors including quality, brand, store, and ability. Millennials tend to use mobile devices to compare prices online so that they can save on their purchases.
9. Millennials put their trust in gift cards, as 64% of them think that they are safer to use for purchasing products online. In fact, millennials believe that gift cards are the safest option to use online compared to any digital payment method. Also, millennials tend to embrace loyalty programs, as 69 percent of them currently belong to a loyalty program, and 70% of those say that they are happy with the program.
10. In 2015, the shopping phenomenon that is known as Black Friday moved online, with the chaos and long queues expected in brick-and-mortar stores giving way to furious clicking and checking out items through virtual shopping carts. This is expected to be an ongoing trend moving forward, so online business owners should plan on giving out their biggest discounts and promos during Black Friday (and even Cyber Monday), to take advantage of the huge influx of online shoppers looking for great deals.
11. About 40 percent of consumers from the United States say they would buy any sort of product online. How’s that for the online shopping habits of 2016?!
12. Consumers are now very comfortable buying online that they see no problem in completing all of the steps of the online-shopping process—without even seeing the product they purchased until it is delivered to their doorstep. There are even consumers who practice “showrooming,” wherein a customer checks out a brick-and-mortar store to view and even test a product that they will, in the end, purchase online. These consumers who switch from a number of different channels and devices to purchase products practice what is called “omnichannel shopping.” Omnichannel shopping is projected to impact how people shop in the future. In other words, omnichannel shopping is the idea that every channel (both online and brick and mortar) must work together to deliver a unified and consistent customer experience. And that is what it seems to be achieving as it is seen as bridging the gap between the online- and physical-shopping experiences.
13. A shopper’s experience of an online store’s website, and this comes as no surprise, is key to an e-commerce site’s success. That’s why all online business owners should understand online shopping habits and the way consumers think. Around 59 percent of shoppers say that they would purchase more often if the website of a particular store loaded faster, and 43 percent of consumers said they would buy often if the site was secure. On the other hand, if the website didn’t offer ease of use and was too complicated, 58 percent of buyers said they wouldn’t bother purchasing from that particular online store, with 57 percent saying the same thing if the mobile screen was too small.
14. About 72 percent of shoppers would complete a purchase on a laptop or a desktop after doing research on the product on a mobile phone, 73 percent said that they felt mobile shopping was very convenient, and 50 percent would purchase a product in a brick-and-mortar store on their mobile phones.
15. The most important aspects for consumers who are planning to purchase online via a mobile site or an app are the following: they experience fast browsing (89 percent), and the site or app is easy to navigate (92 percent). On the other hand, consumers said they would purchase more from an online store if the quality of the merchandise is good (62 percent), and transactions are convenient and hassle-free (62 percent).
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