How to Drive Customer Loyalty and Repeat Purchases with Experience–Driven Commerce
U.S. consumer online sales is expected to pass $500 billion by 2020. However, consumers don’t always head to a site to make a purchase. In fact, according to an Episerver study, “Reimagining Commerce,” most shoppers will visit a website to do something other than make a purchase. While the end goal of any ecommerce site is of course to get a consumer to purchase, many shoppers are visiting sites to complete tasks such as browsing product selection, comparison shop, or to do research.
Key findings from the report include:
- Ninety-two percent of consumers visit a brand’s website for the first time to do something other than make a purchase.
- Even when visiting a brand’s website or mobile app with the intent of purchasing, a third (32 percent) of consumers rarely or never make a purchase.
- Online shoppers list desktop computer(s) as their outright digital channel of choice, followed by smartphone(s) and tablet(s).
- Two-thirds of shoppers expect to make more online purchases in 2017 than they did in 2016. This will be more pronounced among shoppers who purchase every time they visit a brand’s website or mobile app with the intent of purchasing.
- Ninety-eight percent of shoppers have been dissuaded from completing a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect content, with a third (32 percent) of consumers being dissuaded every time.
- Over a third of shoppers (35 percent) feel brands do a poor or very poor job of customizing the online shopping experience, with just 7 percent believing that brands do this very well.
- Nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of shoppers are interested in personalization as a part of their online shopping experience, and 43 percent are open to personalized in-store experiences.
- Twenty-eight percent of shoppers chose personalized content as one of their top three contributors to a great digital user experience. One in 10 shoppers ranked it No. 1.
- Shoppers are more interested in brands tailoring content for coupons based on location (44 percent) and images (31 percent) than emerging technologies like virtual reality (7 percent) and augmented reality (6 percent).
- Twenty-one percent of shoppers are more likely to purchase again from brands that do more to personalize their digital experience than those that do not, and nearly the same number are more loyal (17 percent).
How Consumers Shop
Consumers head online to shop for a variety of products and services. Some of the top categories include personal entertainment, apparel, and travel.
The devices shoppers use varies by age. Shoppers aged 18-44 shop on smartphones most often, followed by desktop or laptop. Those who are 45 and older are much more likely to shop on desktops.
When visiting a brand’s website for the first time, ninety-two percent of consumers visit for reasons other than making a purchase. According to the research, forty-five percent of shoppers are searching for a product/service, 26 percent are comparing prices or other variables between brands and 11 percent are looking for store details like hours, location and contact information.
Brands have the opportunity to improve customer experiences by understanding shoppers’ needs, optimizing websites, improving navigation and checkout processes, and providing rich content.
When brands don’t take the time to optimize the user experiences, shoppers will not stick around. The top reason shoppers cited for not making a purchase is incomplete or incorrect product content. In fact, 98 percent of shoppers have not made a purchase due to insufficient content. According to the study, “Insufficient content can prevent purchases even when shoppers intend to transact. Of the 97 percent of consumers who have not completed a transaction when visiting a brand’s website with the intent of purchasing, 21 percent say incomplete content prevented them from doing so.”
Consumers have also stated that they are turned off by a brand due to inconsistent expectations and impersonal recommendations. For example, 47% of shoppers said they saw an ad for a product that would never purchase. Brands must be more diligent in implementing strategies to provide consistent experiences and to use data insights to personalize these experiences whenever possible.
Online Shoppers Expect a Personalized Experience
Nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of shoppers are interested in personalization as a part of their online shopping experience. In fact, when asked what makes a great digital user experience, 28 percent chose tailored content as one of their top three factors.
Consumers also expect to see relevant content and personalized recommendation for products and services across all price ranges. Of those surveyed, 51 percent of consumers desire relevant content when shopping for products or services within the $51-$100 price range, followed by $11-$50 and $101-$200 (42 percent).
Top items that consumers would like to see personalized include coupons based on location, images, and advertising.
Consumers are also open to brands knowing more about them to personalize online experiences. Beyond traditional demographics, 38% would like brands to use purchase history and 25% would be open to brand using personal interests.
With the purchase journey being far from linear, brands must make every effort to delight and engage consumers with optimized interactions at each and every touchpoint. When a shopper finally is ready to head to a website to make a purchase, experience-driven engagement is key to adding things to the shopping cart and completing the purchase.