Today’s consumers have so much choice available to them – with multiple methods of finding out about products and brands, and numerous ways to purchase products online. Consumers now have the means of buying anything they want in a matter of moments, which is why businesses must have a clear understanding of their customers and their buying behaviour, according to research by the online review platform, Feefo.
Consumers no longer have to drag themselves around their local high-street looking for the item they want, as they can find it instantly at the touch of a button and without even needing to leave their chair. The survey of 2,000 adults reveals that as soon as they decide they want to make a purchase, 70% of people will automatically begin looking for it within the internet’s global marketplace. For 79% of consumers, their first port of call is always Amazon or Google, however as the survey found, while they may start with these sites, many consumers will switch away and purchase elsewhere.
Feefo Head of Digital, Richard Tank says ‘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. 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.’
Most consumers won’t immediately rush into making a purchase. Feefo’s research shows that 62% of people consider themselves to be cautious and conservative with their decision making. They also don’t allow social media, advertising and friends and family to overtly influence their purchasing decisions, as just one in five people admit to buying items just to impress other people. Meanwhile, 82% of respondents say that price is the driving force behind their purchasing decisions, while 55% are influenced by a business’s brand values, and 28% of people say they favour product quality. Only 4% of people take into account global issues like the environment when considering a purchase.
Consumers will then look for information to assist them in making a well-informed decision about the item they are looking to buy and the company they are considering buying it from. 64% of customers say they trust review websites to help them make an informed decision, while 49% will trust closed review platforms more than open review platforms.
They are also influenced by a company’s website during their purchasing journey, with 80% referring to the FAQs to answer their questions, with 48% of people reporting that they would answer any questions that pop up on the site in case it helps to improve their purchasing experience. The most frustrating part of the buying experience for 53% of online shoppers, however, is not finding the answers to their questions.
But even when a consumer has got as far as filling their online shopping basket, they still may not follow through with the transaction as 79% of shoppers admit to abandoning their online shopping basket before completing the purchase. Up to 63% of online consumers say high delivery costs are the reason why they don’t end up purchasing an item.
For the consumers who have completed the transaction, their interaction with the business is not necessarily over. For 70% of customers, they are happy to hear from brands after purchasing but would prefer it to be by email. A further 72% say they are likely to leave a review after their purchase and have done so in 2020.
Tank goes on to say ‘Consumer confidence and trust is essential to developing an online business that grows, and lasts. 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.’