e-commerce is hotter than ever. Whether in mature markets, where consumer spending is shifting online because of convenient purchases, or in growth markets where rapid urbanization and increasing (mobile) internet penetration are unlocking new shopping habits, shoppers are ‘e-commercing’ it up. Some stats ( from trendwatching.com) in 2012 vs 2016-2017: US e-commerce sales will grow […]
US shoppers behavior changes 2014 report presents a trend that I noticed a few years ago. We are using more and more mobile phones, smart phones and tablets in our purchasing journey.
I found a great report : Mapping the US Shopper’s Mobile Path to Purchase prepared by DNC recently.
Please find below the most important findings:
- In 2014, 29% of US consumers said smartphones were the most important shopping tool up from 23% in 2013.
- 42% of consumers consider a mobile device as the most important resource for a purchase decision just behind laptops and desktops at 43%.
- 60% of US consumers claim to have used only their smartphones when deciding which restaurant to visit.
- 40% of US consumers claim to have used only smartphones when deciding on their choice of entertainment.
- 35% of US consumers say they used only smartphones when deciding on which car to buy.
- 68% of US consumers conduct pre-purchase research on their smartphones at some point in their purchase journey.
- Among US consumers who research on their smartphones, 37% make the final purchase in a store followed by 35% who make the final purchase on their smartphones.
- 67% of US consumers conduct pre-purchase research on their tablets at some point in their purchase journey.
- Among consumers who use tablets for research, 41% end up making the final purchase on tablets, 33% make the final purchase in store, and 32% use the laptop to make the final purchase.
- 74% of US consumers conduct pre-purchase research on their laptops at some point in their purchase journey.
- Among consumers who use laptops for research, 52% make the final purchase on laptops followed by 37% who make the final purchase in store and 21% use their tablets to make the final purchase.
- 60% of US shoppers conducted research in stores.
- Among the store researchers, 57% end up buying from the store compared to 29% who buy from their laptops.
- 53% of US smartphone using shoppers accessed the device when inside their homes in 2014 up from 32% in 2013.
- 76% of tablet using shoppers accessed the device in their homes in 2014.
- 49% of entertainment shoppers used their mobile device to browse and see options.
- 48% of telecom shoppers and 47% of auto shoppers used their mobile device to browse and find options compared to 36% of restaurant shoppers.
- 58% of US shoppers prefer visiting retailer website for product discovery.
- 33% of US shoppers preferred to access retailer branded apps.
- Only 13% of US shoppers prefer to discover products and services through opt-in notifications and alerts.
- 72% of US consumers use their mobile devices to research electronic products.
- 57% of shoppers in the clothing category and 46% in the shoes & fashion accessories category use their mobile devices to research products.
- 46% of US consumers research household items on mobile devices and 45% research appliances to discover possible purchase options.
- 49% of telecom shoppers conduct in-depth research on mobile devices to narrow down their choices compared to 20% of restaurant goers.
- 61% of smartphone using shoppers and 50% of tablet using shoppers look up possible locations they can visit near them.
- 52% of shoppers access smartphones and 44% access tablets to look up directions to local stores.
- 41% of US shoppers accessed smartphones and 42% accessed tablets to look up reviews and decide on which store to visit.
- 38% of smartphone using shoppers and 32% of tablet using shoppers called local stores asking for information such as opening and closing times, availability of product, and on-going promotions before deciding to visit.
- 80% of consumers use mobile devices inside a store to enhance their shopping experience, up from 64% a year ago.
- The most popular way to use mobile devices while in-store is to comparison shop (59%) followed by searching for coupons (48%) and reviews (47%).
- Retail stores are the top business venue for consumer mobile usage accounting for 31% of mobile connections followed by restaurants (21%), service-related venues (19%) and financial institutions (15%).
- 28% of in-store mobile usage happens in clothing stores followed by convenience stores (18%) and specialty stores (12%).
- 52% of US consumers share retail related posts on social media.
- 51% of consumers visit social media platforms to post pictures of items they are interested to purchase.
- Only 18% of consumers visit social media sites to post videos of the products they are considering for purchase.
- On average, 62% of consumers who used a mobile device during the shopping process made a purchase. An additional 16% deferred purchase for a future date.
- 49% of smartphone using shoppers and 42% of tablet using shoppers complete their purchase within an hour or less of using their mobile device to start browsing for options.
- On average 65% of mobile using shoppers make a purchase on the same day they started browsing for possible options on the device.
- 23% of US shoppers who used their mobile device inside a retail store made a purchase on the device itself up from 12% a year ago.
- For both smartphones and tablets people are most comfortable spending $100-$249. Smartphones outpace tablets for purchases under $250, while tablets outpace smartphones for purchase over $250.
With highly competitive pricing tools, winning pricing strategy in e-commerce is extremely important.
Large online retailers like Amazon, e-bay, allegro.pl, merlin.pl have an advantage in competitive pricing, as they can set the price low enough to run smaller retailers out of business. But there are other ways to compete – and it all starts with developing an ecommerce pricing strategy.
1. You need to know your sales margin for all your products, group of products to be able to predict the income and promotions level
2. Your Unique Selling Proposition – it is your competitive advantage – the thing that you are an expert or only you are selling a particular product ( like a product producer ). It can be a free delivery for the order of over $50. It can be also some charity that $1 spent on the order will be transfer to any charity fund.
3. Promotions – offers – many aspects and types of offers you can practice here. But you need to always think about your profit. There are very popular practices like “Buy 3 and get 50% for next” , “Buy 2 and 3 for free”, “Purchase in the next hour and receive 20% off!”
They can help you attract new customers but it can damage some brands in your online store.
4. product segmentation – you need to know your best selling product, low selling with great profit and most important products for you that are in line with your overall business strategy, high selling products. You need to compare them to your competition prices. Some producers will suggest prices and you cannot give any discounts without their approval. It can be very tricky if you have a full stock of their products. You also need to group products into similar ones and comparable by usage, consumer type, etc. to better prepare your pricing.
5. customer segmentation – there are different types of customer segmentations: statistical, style related and many others depending on your business type. There are customers that are looking only for sales, promotions. There are customers that are looking for particular product. In both cases you can use a shop application to propose them up-selling, cross-selling or similar products. Most shopping platforms have such feature.
6. your product offer should be interesting and diversified. You need to monitor your sales and trends. Google Analytics will help in it as well as other e-commerce platform statistics, your shop statistics. You know that there are some seasonal ups and downs for some products and services. It is obvious that in majority of online shops 80% of products have to be in your offer, 10% are stars that you sell them very well, 10% are fashion related and fast moving as well. Simply you need to monitor your clients expectations and popularity of products.
We can help in analyzing all these aspects.
How to create a successful website – It is a common question. Every day we are being asked for helping in making it happen.
Some people think that only search engine optimization is a key for success.
Guys, it is not true.
STEP 1: Start by creating a basic road map.
This will help you in keeping the directions and your dreams together. Keep in mind that this is an evolutionary process. You can change it and modify. The most important thing is to start doing it. The visions and dreams are really important but building a great website, portal or online shop like e-bay, Amazon or onet.pl takes years. Please remember it. Evolution is the best solution at the beginning. Start small and grow big.
STEP 2: Determine what the main goal for your website is:
- informative about you, your current or future business,
- a lead generation to concrete group of clients,
- content sharing, etc.
Each goal requires different tools, skills and investment of time, money. It can be a hybrid of many goals but please remember to start with realistic goals for you and your resources. Building some tools require a time ( 6-12 months) and money.
STEP 3: Once you choose your goals we can concentrate on designing your website:
- do you have your logo, visual identity
- what is your style – colors, behavior, clothes
- what are your clients that you have already and you would like to have
- what other websites you like and enjoy
- tools to drive traffic into your website or online shop
- and many other detailed questions
STEP 4: We present designs, layout of major pages for you, some tools:
like sliders, video or photo galleries, forms, quizzes and others that are in the scope of your initial project.
STEP 5: Development
Once you approve the designs a typical agency will start working on coding and development of your website or online shop.
STEP 6: Tools creation or configuration to help drive the right traffic to your website.
The web is a very competitive space- over 11 billion web pages, so you need to be strategic in deciding what works best for you. Some of these tools include search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization. We help in:
- newsletter configuration
- linking to most popular e-mail marketing tools like mailchimp, getresponse.com or Polish freshmail.
- setting social media: Facebook fanpage, Youtube channel, twitter, etc.
- setting web statistics
STEP 7: The time to decide how and where you’re going to spend your (limited) marketing budget.
At the beginning your website, domain is unknown. You need to start with some SEO elements:
- adding urls to most common search engines ( we can help in it)
- adding good content with key words you would like to be searched
- adding meta descriptions and alt descriptions to your pages, photos and videos
STEP 8: If you have budget, it would be good to start also:
- paid search activities to promote your website.
- adding your website to some professional catalogs
- adding your online shop to price comparison portals like ceneo.pl, nokaut.pl
- adding some offers into allegro.pl or any other partner portal
These activities depend on your main goal, budget and strategy.
Some tools work very well for online shops, some work better for websites and portals.
STEP 9: At the end what is the most important? CONTENT and CHANGES
You need to spend time to build your brand, your website, products to change it frequently. Please apply what you learn from your web metrics. These include page views, length of visits, traffic volume and trends, and you should study them to improve your site’s content, navigation and performance.
This enables you to offer a better experience to your visitors and create a successful website.
Good luck! Of course we can help:)
Delivering an e-commerce project with success is not an easy task. E-commerce project management is complicated, with many potential challenges involved.
Last couple of months, we worked on several e-commerce projects, and there was always a problem with understanding the complexity on my client’s side.
We had to start with education and some initial planning first.
Very often, we get an inquiry that our potential client wants to have an online shop:
- he has an xxx budget but
- there is no list of requirements – “please tell me what I need and what the best solution is for me.”
- only it should look beautiful and professional.
- it should have this and this payment gateway and this and this shipping method
- it has to be done in 1-2 months
There are some elements you need to consider once you decide to invest your time and money in a new online shop:
- Project planning and resourcing
- Stakeholder support and managing expectations
- Defining requirements
- Supplier selection and service levels of support ( very often missed)
Consumers do not tolerate lousy web experiences anymore. Quite only, you have to do it in the right way.
Small and medium businesses
always have many constraints: time, money, capacity. But small businesses are most flexible and adaptive to any changes in the environment.
The main problem is choosing the best platform and solution. Such medium should be prepared for at leats two years of operating.
- There are hundreds of solutions that can be used here
- The solution should be flexible and adaptable to new conditions, like social media sales, mobile sales
- start-ups simply don’t know what to expect from the solution, what basic features should be implemented
- Because it is difficult to migrate to a new platform from time to time and predict the increase in sales in the next 1-2 years.
Digideo helps with analyzing e-commerce solutions and propose the best one.
The next step is to choose the right supplier. You need to prepare the evaluation list with some points that are important for you: secure, experienced, professional, reliable, registered, no dept, international, local, global, with support 24/7 days or not, etc.
Why is it so important? Our experience shows that there are many unreliable suppliers, freelancers that can hurt your business. Recently we helped our clients to fix security gaps and backdoors left by such developers.
Please remember that it is a really insecure and dangerous situation for your customers, too. Somebody can steal their credit card numbers and personal data.
Client-side professionals can play a significant role in the whole process:
- Find the right supplier for your business
- Manage internal expectations and set realistic expectations
- Deliver on time and on-budget
- Deliver a return on investment – yes, it is a massive investment of time
Now we can start the project:
- collect requirements
- setting a project plan
- managing project
Supplier-side professionals play a crucial role during the whole project:
- Building credibility through a more customer-centric approach
- Reducing client churn, increase customer retention
- Delivering on time and budget
We help with all these steps. Please look at our project management offer.
Online shop advertising – how to get started? – There is another question after installation store, organize product and include them on the application store. Now you need to get customers.
Small businesses do not usually have too many funds for promotion and advertising. Advertising on the Internet is less expensive and is usually perceived as less annoying than other media and much easier to ignore (one click, you can completely disable it).
This is definitely a different situation than in the case such as television advertising, perceived as more annoying.
For about 50% of Internet surfers negative watch only part of the ad claiming that some of them like it.
Effective Internet marketing is essentially no different from traditional marketing activities where the focus is mainly on the best knowledge of the target group.
Customers using web are very demanding and prone to change. Having it in your mind you should create marketing materials, your online shop advertising that refer to a single generation, gender or interest groups:
Remember that women make over 80% of purchases.
Advertising messages are to operate mainly on female consumers, respond to their needs and tempt you to release virtual cash. The truth is that women are looking for the perfect solution, other than men. The Conclusion: your shop online advertising should be addressed to women. :)
The average age of Internet users is about 35 years, but ever growing group of users are the elderly.
Here you have to remember about the availability of such advertising and offers for the elderly (ie accessibility)
Teens are the largest and most demanding group of Internet users.
If you target your marketing to this group, you need to integrate traditional marketing tactics with unusual solutions that attract discerning customers: cartoons, games, viral marketing, pulling contests, great video, etc. Then the teenager asks the parents for the purchase and at the end mom ultimately decides whether or not to buy a new article of clothing, a toy or game for your child. It turns out that teenagers are very influential to their parents.
Ladies spend twice as much time to e-commerce services than men.
It is very interesting that women nonetheless prefer to purchase the traditional form, where you can try on the goods, just watch, take advantage of the sales person or the woman accompanying people (mostly other women).
Women are more wary and critical of e-commerce, electronic payments, but often do a virtual “window shopping” – visiting e-shops without buying.
They are certainly more demanding customers than men. Your shop landing page should be catchy and easy to buy.
The reliability of the seller is particularly important and how it fulfills the promises (especially as regards deadlines).
They read reviews of the store or company, hence the popularity of opineo.pl or other services fachowcy.pl, baazarvoice.com or social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. It is another form of online shop advertising that builds your long term relationship with current consumers and decreases the cost of new consumer acquisition.
Boys are buying a convenience, ladies – saving money via web purchases
So promotions, sales on online shop advertising announcements always attract attention.
Women usually find a particular store by the Web browser, while the men get there from comparing prices service providers.
So – SEM search engine marketing (SEO, AdWords) have a huge sense here.
IAB data on online advertising spending in Europe confirmed it:
2011 – SEM – 46.5% of the expenditure (continuous growth year-on-year),
display (banner) – the rest and decreased participation from year to year.
- remember women as major customers and your main target group
- search engine marketing SEM and price comparing services – your major online advertising tools
- collecting opinions yourself or by using professional companies – builds your long-term relationship with consumers and decreases the cost of new consumer acquisition.