How do customers decide which store to use – What determines the choice of an online store?
E-commerce is the fastest growing segment of online business. This is accompanied by customers whose preferences change over time, and whose demands reach no longer only the quality of products, their prices, or opinions. Customers increasingly pay attention to the technical aspects of using the site, as well as the brand itself, whether it is pro-social, whether it is pro-environmental, whether it has a human face.
As predicted by PwC, by 2026. The gross value of the Polish online sales market may even reach 162 billion PLN. Last year’s analysis shows that the average annual growth can be estimated at 12%. The PwC report indicates that the most popular items for purchase are standard food and FMCG. Next to groceries, articles under the category of health and beauty will grow the most. Almost two years ago, online shopping was already at 14 percent. share in the value of total retail sales in our country. It is inferred that this was influenced by the outbreak of the pandemic and the move of most businesses to the online zone, where they briefly had the opportunity to develop their sales platforms.
An analysis conducted by Opineo seems to disagree with this.pl in cooperation with Nielsen. Analysts may not have predicted how Tesco’s withdrawal from our country would affect the market landscape. In 2020, NielsenIQ reported that at least once a month 54 percent of. consumers purchased cosmetics and household chemicals online, and the Shopper Trends 2021 report showed that in February of last year, the online FMCG category was only 38 percent. The lack of Tesco meant that not all stores met the requirements of specific target groups and when they did not find an alternative they did not purchase in this category from any online store.
What determines the choice of an online store?
As Gemius reports, price is still the most important factor for customers when choosing a store’s offer. It is important for over 45 percent. survey participants. Blue media suggest that 2022 should not, therefore, be a year in which retailers will significantly raise prices, even if the situation would indicate so, because it will be associated with the outflow of a large number of existing customers, and gaining new ones in the era of competition and uncertain times may be increasingly difficult. The most beneficial strategy will be to level prices in line with other players on the e-commerce market. This view is shared by as many as 83 percent of. of Poles surveyed by the Chamber of Electronic Commerce and the Mobile Institute, who consider themselves to be demanding customers and do not intend to lower their expectations.
It also turned out that more and more customers pay attention to the cost of transporting the item to their door. Delivery costs are not indifferent for as many as 42% of. customers. Experience shows that companies that have long-term contracts with courier companies benefit a lot from this by offering their customers much better conditions from this angle. This is a good direction. Finding a courier company and negotiating appropriate conditions will allow e-tailers to have a much more optimized process. Santander Consumer Bank’s study „Poles on e-shopping 2021” also showed that the most popular form of collecting parcels from e-shops are parcel machines, which are a convenient solution for up to 57% of Poles. of respondents. It is worth considering offers of courier companies that have parcel machines in their offer.
Memory and so called first impression are also important. For customers, the need for positive past experiences with the store ranked third according to Gemius. Blue Media indicate that the key to a positive opinion about a store at a later time is its service, especially related to the post-purchase process. After-sales service is an important pillar guaranteeing a return rate of up to 33%. customers.
Promotions, special offers, discount coupons or loyalty programs are listed as the fourth most important factor. Are important for 26% of. surveyed. In turn, for two percent less consumers, delivery time is also important, which ranks fifth. For 21 percent of. it is important to be able to choose the form of delivery, and for one-fifth of respondents it was particularly important to have a variety of options for paying for goods and services. According to a study by Baymard Institute, 7% of shoppers abandon their cart during the purchase process simply because “there were not enough payment methods”. Speaking of payments, it is worth knowing how customers like to pay on the Internet. According to a survey by Blue Media, BLIK payments are in first place, followed by fast electronic payments handled by operators such as. PayU, Przelewy24 or whole aggregators like BlueMedia. Then there are purchases made with payment cards, traditional transfers, cash on delivery or cash on the spot (e.g. in a stationary store where the ordered goods are collected).
Opinions about the store and products are also important
In the Business Insider article, we can find information that the opinion presented by other users on comparison sites and portals such as Ceneo will also be important for customers.pl, Opineo.pl, Skąpiec.en. Although this article is already three years old, its timeliness in this regard can be estimated as the most adequate to the reality, as it is the gesture of human mentality to take advantage of the support and experience of the community.
This is, of course, confirmed by the Gemius study, which in its “E-commerce in Poland 2021” report presents several sources of such opinions:
- opinions on various websites and portals – 17%
- recommendations from friends friends family – 15%
- reviews on online discussion group forums – 13%
- opinions on social networking sites – 11%
- opinions found outside the Internet – 7%
According to PwC, opinions about a seller on the Internet help to decide whether to use the services of a store by as much as 43% of consumers. surveyed.
In the face of data according to which consumers increasingly use smartphones, it is necessary to optimize the website for mobile devices. The e-tailer should make a checklist for himself, in which he will include the elements to improve on his site, that is:
- Unplayable video content due to Flash
- Illegible fonts or font size
- Difficult to use navigation menu (consider using a hamburger menu)
- Touch items too small or close together
- Autocomplete contact forms
“What e-commerce bites” also showed that Poles often use foreign shopping platforms. In Poland platforms such as AliExpress, Alibaba or ASOS are popular. Foreign e-shops often contain more quality products at competitive prices. Looking for competitive advantages during the analysis of competition, we should not forget about the platforms located abroad our country.
How to attract and keep customers in an online store?
Edisonda argues that the essence of customer retention amidst increased competition and market oversaturation is usability research conducted with users to help maximize the effectiveness of their experience resulting from the customer journey, but also the visual experience of using an e-commerce platform.
According to peekd.ai 31 percent. Customers dream of making their shopping experience as personalised as possible. Personalization of recommendations is key to achieving consumer satisfaction, which translates into loyalty and higher purchase rates. Recommendations can be based on engines related to machine learning and artificial intelligence. An example is Amazon’s solution, which generates 35 percent of. revenues of the company.
It’s important to promote your offer on social media, make sure it’s simple and easy to buy, have clear terms and conditions, and be able to chat during and after the purchase, as we wrote above. You should think about aggregating live chats in your e-commerce. Customers will be able to address their concerns live, which will help them feel taken care of, and potentially abandonment concerns will increase basket volume.
How to increase the value of the shopping cart in your online store?
Instead of discounting individual products, you can bundle them together and offer a reduced price per bundle when purchased together. This situation will benefit from two reasons: just as in a stationary store the arrangement of the assortment affects what will be in our basket, so when we see another conclusion of the report “What e-commerce bites”, which indicates that 24 percent of. The situation with shoppers who abandon their shopping carts because the final price is too high is the opposite, where the price is lowered and the customer is satisfied with the set and favorable price they receive thanks to their decision.
Peekd.ai points out that it’s also worth setting a free shipping threshold above the average order value. It means to increase the price slightly for free delivery so that the customer has an incentive to buy an extra item. This will be especially effective if we use price anchoring. This is to show the crossed out original price and the lower price that is present. The impression of opportunity and savings will make the customer realize the true value of the offer. This can be used for limited time discount offers – extra discount x%, discount only today, until the end of the month take advantage of the discount for 100 PLN, etc… Marketing research shows that such actions increase the average order value.
In the thick of competition, even with strong platform development spending, it may not be enough. Today, customers are also paying attention to company mission, values and inclusivity. WWF hints at the Economist Intelligence Unit that consumers are starting to worry about Mother Gaia, with companies demanding the same. Results show that searches for sustainable goods have grown more than 70 percent since 2017. which will probably continue to grow, since even the pandemic and the crisis associated with it have not slowed down this trend.