How Online Shopping Has Changed Buyer Behavior In Recent Years
Ecommerce has exploded dramatically in the past few years – and consumers never looked back. Online shopping is now the most popular and preferred way to shop by many consumers all over the world.
Shopping as we know it has evolved in a quick, convenient, and seamless transformation process.
With ecommerce, buyers would need not go out or drive around to shop for groceries and other items because they can do that right at their fingertips with a mobile phone in one hand or via a tablet or computer. Yes, shopping has a better digital version and everyone loves it!
Consumer Behavior Since COVID-19
Ever since COVID-19, consumer habits have shifted in another direction and it seems like it’s here to stay.
The impact of COVID-19 to buyer or customer behavior is said to be habit-forming and can be permanent. This means the habits formed in this crisis will ultimately change people in terms of their shopping behavior and values for a long time.
This is the new reality of shopping and retail which has implications too on many brands or sellers. There is a challenge for many businesses or retailers to get their act together or lose it.
The brands who said they would jump online one day seem to realize how difficult it is to be the last one to do it. In order to stay relevant and dominate your industry, you must provide flexibility and innovation. In other words, you do have to get that groove back with online shopping.
Just Keep It Mobile
Ecommerce is all about allowing buyers to shop conveniently from anywhere and at anytime! This is made even easier with the use of a mobile phone. Even though online shopping has been around for quite some time now, mobile has taken it into an entirely new level because you can use the device for the entire sakes cycle.
Mobile ecommerce or online shopping is now being used for the following:
- Search for products and compare prices
- Discovery of new products in the market
- Create shopping plans and lists
- Make on-the-dot payments or purchases
Rather than treating mobile shopping separate from shopping in physical stores, you have to start using these two channels to optimize customer shopping experience.
While most offline stores jumped into the digital space, some companies that started online have now also opened up their own physical stores like Alibaba and Amazon.
Businesses who have made successful transitions and created ecommerce stores, social media presence, and apps to sell their products and services give consumers flexibility in choosing how and where to shop out of their own preference and convenience.
So, you can actually buy a product online and then return an item to its physical store location or perhaps request for a change in size or color. In other words, you make the buying process or journey straightforward and flexible.
Consumer Adaptation Takes Shape
Leisure time and even income changes due to the pandemic have affected buyer purchase behavior and consumer habits.
A lot of consumers feel that they don’t have enough cash or disposable income to buy lavishly. As a result, more consumers are now conscious with their shopping habits and behavior unlike before the pandemic.
Now, even though some countries or areas have had low incidences of COVID-19 or is gradually stabilizing, consumers still have economic issues that dent their confidence in making purchase decisions. They still feel uneasy with the idea of going out more to buy groceries or for leisure purposes.
Consumers are now more mindful when it comes to buying online or offline. This mindset is said to linger on for years to come. A lot of shoppers are now conscious about the environmental implications of their purchase. They want to shop healthy and also limit food waste materials.
Customers also tend to buy locally or from local suppliers and retailers that they trust. Buyers are seeking brands that are close to home and efficient. The perks of shopping locally and online is that you can do fewer shopping trips when you need to check out items in a physical store and you can also return or refund defective or wrong items.
Drawn to Personalized Buyer Journey
The evolution of online shopping or ecommerce has also set high expectations for many retailers or brands out there.
More than 90% of customers are said to shop more with brands that personalize their customer experience. Consumers are now looking for personalized online shopping experience that is consistent and relevant on every device they use or at any stage of the buying process.
From Shopping to Social!
Shopping today isn’t an intimate affair anymore. This has become a party or a social activity for online shoppers and sellers alike.
In the advent of social media marketing, buyers now have access to information they need to make a wise purchase decision. Anyone can be a brand influencer. You don’t need to be a celebrity to be an influencer nowadays that provides freedom for everyone to reboot and reclaim their own brands.
Word-of-mouth advertising too has become a social thing. The social buzz for brands helps create fans out of followers or friends. Many customers now check online reviews before making any purchase so you have to keep of tab of this.
People now trust these reviews more than the self-promotion that many brands use. Engagement is very important in social media. You have to actively engage with your customers to establish trust. Consumers want to feel they can trust you before they pay for your services or buy your products.
There is a heightened behavior when it comes to optimizing buyer experiences. Look for a brand that speaks your language.
Ecommerce – The Preferred Way to Shop
Ecommerce is the platform to beat. This is now the most preferred shopping option by many customers because you can practically shop and pay for your items anytime and anywhere.
This enables many customers to shop using multiple devices, access important information and insights, and share their customer experience with other people. Online shopping has become the more dominant player in the field.
With all the disruptions that happened over the years, customers online have switched without breaking into a sweat and you get to access their shopping behavior and preferences.
Businesses are also now thinking ahead by locking in ethical and environmental standards to keep a sustainable business that can grow and expand over the coming years.
Online shopping has tremendously pivoted and changed the way we shop both online and offline. Omnichannel marketing is now on the rise and retailers now have the chance to rebuild their empires and finish strong for 2020!