A new study by Feefo has provided retailers with new insights into the thoughts and buying habits of online shoppers. It has long been understood that purchasing decisions are preceded by a series of steps, and that after-purchase care plays a critical role in encouraging, or deterring, customers from making future purchases. Thanks to a poll of 2,000 British shoppers, we now have a keener understanding of exactly what leads a customer to convert, and, perhaps more importantly, what might persuade them to look the other way.
The headline figure is that a whopping 70% of customers now make purchases online. – a figure which is undoubtedly driven by the pandemic and the response to it. With high streets closed, many customers were left with no choice but to venture online to meet their shopping needs – but many of these shopping habits are sure to prove ‘sticky’.
Of the online shoppers, 79% claimed to visit either Google or Amazon (41% and 38% respectively) to start their search. According to Richard Tank, Feefo’s Head of Digital, it’s the rise of Amazon as a kind of retail search engine that should interest those looking to sell online.
‘While Google’s online monopoly on the web has long been documented, it’s clear that Amazon is now just as prominent as the search engine, even though it’s technically an online retailer,’ he says. ‘It’s important to recognise that while consumers may start their search on these websites, they often end up buying from somewhere else. Today’s digital landscape is ever-changing and businesses have to meet the needs of their customers across the whole purchase journey in order to maintain sales and brand loyalty. The findings of this survey emphasise that.’
The survey also uncovered several other noteworthy findings:
- 43% of customers prefer email when communicating with businesses
- Three in ten expect to a response within ten minutes of having sent a request
- 80% use an FAQ prior to making a purchasing decision
- 82% of customers claim that price is the most important consideration
- Just one in five admit to making a purchase in order to improve their image, or to impress others.
Tank claims that engaging with customers is the best way for businesses to build trust, and to establish themselves as a go-to brand. ‘Consumer confidence and trust is essential to developing an online business that grows, and lasts,’ he says.
‘While the influence of the ‘big two’ won’t be changing anytime soon, brands small and large must do everything they can to build relationships with their customers, to ensure they keep coming back for more. Listening, learning and developing more personalised customer experiences is key to long term success. Technology as an enabler, must be fully utilised in order for online businesses to achieve this.’