6 Online Shopping Habits of Today’s Consumers

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When the first iPhone debuted 9 years ago, it changed more than just how people communicate. Because the iPhone offers features beyond text and phone calls, it became the prototype of an ideal mobile phone. It gave users the ability to download applications customised to their interests, listen to music, browse the Web, and shop online.

This changed the commerce industry as a whole, as brick-and-mortar shoppers began using their devices in stores to learn more about products and compare prices among competitors, while online shoppers had been able to make purchases at any time and from anywhere. The success of the iPhone, as well as of the many other smartphones that followed, certainly created a more connected world, which has resulted in savvier consumers and much different online shopping habits.

It’s wise for retailers to learn about today’s modern shoppers as much as they can because doing so will help them optimise the online shopping experiences they offer. It’s always important to analyse a specific customer base, as well as take a look at the larger commerce trends. Since the holiday shopping season is rapidly approaching, let’s take a closer look at the online shopping habits of today’s consumers according to recent studies.

1. Purchases happen within the first hour of a shopper’s browsing session.Shopper browsing
Q1 2016 data from software company Monetate shows that 42% of purchases occur in the first 60 minutes following a shopper’s first visit to a particular site. In comparison to this, only 9% of all purchases happen in the 6 hours following the first hour. To capitalise this, merchants should optimise their sites to give consumers a strong first impression — make sure their site is fast, showcasing great imagery and displaying trust signals — and consider how to engage shoppers with longer paths to purchase.

2. Consumers typically convert from a referral within a day of the initial share.
Software company Extole’s data for 2016 reveals that 52% of customers who convert from a referral typically do so within 24 hours. Based on the data, referrals are mostly shared via email or social. The lifetime value of referred customers is 25% higher than that of non-referred new customers, while the conversion rate of the former is three times higher than the latter. Fortunately, merchants can easily encourage referrals by simply including sharing functionality and offering incentives that will make it simpler and rewarding for customers to recommend their products and/or services.

3. Consumers are unlikely to buy from a merchant again if they purchase an item with an inaccurate product description.
Inaccurate product descriptions are a big turn off for 87% of consumers. The problem seems to affect online apparel retailers the most, with B2B service company Shotfarm’s “Product Information Report” revealing that 25% of U.S. consumers returned an item in 2015 due to incorrect product information.

4. Consumers use their mobile phone when shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.Shopper using mobile phone
According to omnichannel personalisation business RichRelevance’s 2016 “Creepy or Cool” survey, 73% of consumers use their mobile phones while shopping in stores, with the younger shoppers more likely to do so. To cater to this customer segment, merchants can encourage in-store shoppers to scan a product with their mobile device to access product reviews and recommendations — a tactic that is considered “cool” by 79% of the respondents.

5. Consumers who are using PayPal for checkout ultimately convert.
Data from ComScore, a global media measurement and analytics company, shows that PayPal converts 87.5% of online shoppers, which makes it better than other payment solutions. In comparison to this, Visa Checkout converts online shoppers at a rate of 51.2%, with all other payment types converting shoppers at a rate of only 45.6%. This proves the value of offering alternative payment options at checkout, particularly simplified and popular ones like PayPal.



6. Consumers begin their shopping search on Amazon.
A recent study by PowerReviews, a consumer engagement technology developer and marketer, divulges that 38% of consumers start their shopping search on e-commerce marketplace Amazon, followed by 35% who start their shopping journey on Google. Although those are significant percentages, the study also found that 21% of consumers are more likely to start their search at a specific retailer while 6% start their shopping experience on other e-commerce marketplaces like eBay.


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