Consumer’s purchasing behaviours and attitudes change all the time as products and services develop, along with the ways in which they carry out purchase activity. The rise of the high street, the department store, and the shopping mall all impacted buying behaviour and the expectations that consumers have of brands. When online shopping came along at the height of the dotcom bubble period, this too developed how and why people purchased.
2020’s rollercoaster of current affairs and societal change has undoubtedly amended this behaviour further – not least because most people haven’t been able to shop in the way they would usually! For the first time this year, consumer purchasing habits have been examined through primary research by trusted review pioneers Feefo; who have surveyed 2,000 British shoppers to learn more about their needs, wants and retail expectations.
Of course, the pre-purchase behaviour and reasons for stimulating through a decision-making process to the point of affirmative action are much esteemed by retailers – because if they can get it right, they can foster new, and more, business.
The survey has demonstrated some pre-purchase behaviours that may cause surprise, but can definitely be utilised by those investing in marketing and service improvements in order to encourage positive change. 82% of online shoppers considered price the most important factor in their decision-making process in what to buy, but 1 in 5 (20%) admitted to buying a product or service purely for the image or to impress others. Indeed in an era of social media sanitisation of life events and the constant comparison between individuals, perhaps this is a more fitting statistic than it first appears. Online retailers are able to encourage such comparisons and work with relevant social media influencers to instil the appropriate ‘image’ of their products and/or services to play to these consumer desires.
Only 4% of that shopping online considered the environmental or wider global impact of their purchase – demonstrating perhaps that despite a mainstream move toward sustainability and corporate social responsibility measures by companies, and a growing societal appreciation of more sensitive issues, consumers like to be seen to be sustainable rather than taking action to be.
However, whatever reason was stipulated for purchase, many don’t progress that far. 53% of those surveyed admitted that their biggest gripe when shopping online was not being able to find the answers they needed to any questions they had about the product or service they wished to buy. 80% used FAQs pages to seek out further information, but it seems if they’re unable to find what they need, they leave – with 79% abandoning an online purchase at the checkout stage.
Unfortunately for retail brands, what consumers say they like to purchase doesn’t always reflect how they actually do; but there’s definitely work that can be done to identify and meet their needs thoroughly. Hope this article can help online shoppers.