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Simple experiences, good price and environmental awareness: research shows how cemented changing shopping habits have become

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Online shopping is changing how retailers think
Online shopping is changing how retailers think
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Online shopping habits are here to stay: and that means offering simple experience, value, engagement and sustainability, study says

More than half (55%) of consumers now shop online more frequently than they did during the pandemic – and for frequent online shoppers, this figure rises to 65%.

 

At the same time, 60% have seen an increase in their online spending since the Covid-19 outbreak began, increasing to 71% for frequent users.

 

More than half (54%) say the pandemic has changed their expectations of online shopping. Of this, 70% are more likely to shop elsewhere if they can’t find products quickly, while 52% are more likely to look for discounts elsewhere and 38% rank fewer steps in the check-out process as a priority.

 

These are the key findings from the latest consumer research from Adobe, which outlines not only how shopper habits have changed in 2020, but how they are changes that are going to stick.

 

The report goes on to delve into what shoppers now want from online retailers. Seven in ten consumers say they are more likely to shop elsewhere if they can’t find products quickly on a retailer’s website. Almost two-thirds (62%) would abandon a transaction on check-out if they discovered the retailer doesn’t offer free returns or free delivery.

 

Simplified experiences

The report also says that consumers expect experiences to be smooth, friction-free and without additional costs or inconveniences. While they might not be able to abandon a basket to head to a shopping centre – they can and will find competitors online, should the experience they receive fail to meet expectations. The research suggests that 52% say they are more likely to look for discounts and offers than they were before, with this number sitting at 57% for the frequent shoppers.

 

Brands should also aim to minimise complexity from the user’s perspective at every stage of the journey, perhaps by helping consumers navigate to their desired purchases with ease, and by integrating secure payment services.

 

Easy to find pricing (66%), clearly displayed discounts (63%) and accurate product descriptions (62%) are all highly valued. Consumers also want high quality product images (57%), the ability to find further information on products and services quickly and easily (52%) and clearly laid out pages (51%).

 

Meanwhile, when it comes to delivering ‘stand out’ experiences, unnecessary distractions and noise should be avoided. Half want experiences without adverts or interruptions from third parties, while 35% would like to see only products and offers relevant to them. The same percentage would like to see ecommerce websites that guide their next step, while almost a third would be impressed if virtual reality was used effectively to make them feel like they were in a ‘real’ shop.

 

Green credentials

Seven in ten consumers (69%) say it is important or very important that retailers have good environmental credentials. Half (49%) even say they are willing to pay more for a product if the retailer is more environmentally friendly than another.

 

This trend is only set to continue, given how the issue has gained real prominence in consumers’ minds over the last year specifically. Charted against our findings from 2019, consumers are more likely to be motivated by a whole range of environmental concerns.

 

More than half (51%) now say they would be more likely to buy from a retailer that is transparent about where its products are sourced from, up from 44% in 2019, while almost as many (48%, up from 40%) would be swayed by a retailer that minimises its use of packaging materials like plastic, polystyrene and bubble wrap.

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