Every consumer goods business needs a solid eCommerce strategy going into 2020.
It’s essential that this eCommerce marketing plan is developed with a solid understanding of industry trends. The consumer decision-making process is becoming increasingly entangled in the digital world, which means the debate continues over whether or not brick-and-mortar stores serve a purpose at all.
Remesh, an A.I.-powered online focus group, recently ran a conversation with 100 consumers to identify new and emerging eCommerce trends. The study covered a variety of consumer trends, including consumer preferences between shopping online or in a physical store, consumer considerations for specific products, and consumer opinions on specialized services like subscription model purchases.
There are three important findings that can be pulled from these survey results that can help your business establish a solid eCommerce strategy.
Our study found that the types of products consumers shop for can greatly influence their decision to shop online versus in-person. For instance, consumers are more likely to purchase video games, electronics, and computer parts online. In contrast, they are least likely to purchase grocery items online, especially produce.
During this study, we also found that online reviews and social proof are essential to increasing product purchase conversions. Yet, most consumers say they don’t write reviews.
Here are some of the study’s key findings at a more granular level.
Top eCommerce Trend #1: Consumers care about online reviews…
Consumers check and trust online reviews. 91% of those asked said that they had made a recent purchase based largely on reviews. Even if they don’t purchase a product online, consumers are likely to check online reviews and make purchasing decisions based on those reviews.
The ability to check online reviews is a common reason why consumers choose to shop online.
Consumers are concerned with the existence of inaccurate reviews and worry that they can’t trust some online reviews. The validity of reviewers is essential in gaining consumer trust. This is good news for the eCommerce industry since reviews can be purchased at little expense online – but, reviews from trusted sources are more heavily gated. A trusted source could be anyone from a prolific user to a widely-followed influencer.
Top eCommerce Trend #2: …But consumers don’t write reviews
That being said, consumers aren’t likely to write reviews. One in five consumers in the study stated that they “never” write reviews. However, this number might be different when consumers are asked to make a review in exchange for an incentive.
Top eCommerce Trend #3: The allure of brick-and-mortar stores is waning
There are a variety of reasons why consumers shop in brick-and-mortar stores. These factors can vary along many demographic lines, including age, income, and gender.
Black Friday vs Cyber Monday
58% of consumers interviewed reported that they are not likely to shop on Black Friday, whereas 53% of consumers said that they are likely to shop on Cyber Monday. Consumers noted that crowded stores and long lines will keep them out of physical stores on Black Friday and prefer doing their Black Friday shopping online. Those who are still drawn to these in-person events largely go shopping out of tradition.
Online vs In-Person
Consumers gave many reasons for shopping online. Some consumers felt that they spend more on impulse purchases in brick-and-mortar stores than they do when shopping online, while others cited the convenience of being able to shop at home rather than dragging their children out to the store.
Of those interviewed, many reported that they didn’t want to shop online because they can’t physically touch or try on the product. Some other interesting preferences include:
- Consumers under 35 and over 45 are less likely to make purchases with their cell phones
- 53% of consumers who make more than $50,000+ say they are usually or always buy clothes online
Consumers under the age of 35 are actually more likely to shop in a brick-and-mortar store. Citing both the experience of taking a trip to the store, and a drive to avoid shopping at large online retailers like Amazon, these consumers lend a hand to the survival of the physical shopping spaces.
There is also a concern among consumers about counterfeit products and shipping charges. Many acknowledge that even with lower online prices, the shipping charges or the hassle of dealing with any potential returns can actually drive the cost of the product up, discouraging many online shoppers.
So this is a clear indicator of why a retailer should have a bold omnichannel marketing strategy to maximize sales on each audience and target group nowadays.
The growth of subscription box memberships is still unclear, and consumer opinions on the topic were mixed during this study.
Many consumers believe that subscription services are overpriced and that they often receive items they don’t want and aren’t likely to use. Although consumers interviewed did express that subscription services are fun, most feel the novelty dies out relatively quickly.
Will these trends affect the future of eCommerce?
Probably yes, but they won’t be the sole ones. With new major technologies appearing every 5 years things change fast nowadays. As long as people still buy from brick and mortar stores, yes they will greatly affect the industry. So, these eCommerce trends are here to stay for a while since they still have a major impact on numbers, before other rising trends like visual eCommerce, machine learning, chatbots & voice eCommerce become a norm.
Remesh’s mission is to organize the world’s voice into Truths through engaging and understanding populations in real-time and enabling informed action at the speed of conversation.