A study into online shopping habits by eCommerce search and navigation group EmpathyBroker revealed that over half of UK consumers (51%) admitted they now prefer to shop online rather than in-store. Well over half (55%) added that they are shopping more online this year compared with 2017.
EmpathyBroker said the regular consumer shops online on average six times per month, with 25-34-year olds being the most active, shopping on a retailer’s website eight times a month. It also revealed that 27% of men and 25% of women shop online at least once a week.
Perhaps more revealingly the study looked into the psychology of shoppers and the “opportunity presented to brands to capitalise on consumers through their website experience”. It found that only 13% of consumers know exactly what product they want to buy every time they visit an eCommerce website with 42% saying they do only some of the time.
Almost two thirds of shoppers said they like to have a browse or general look around every time or a lot of the time they shop. A third of all consumers look for brands to suggested product options or give tips about the latest trends when they visit a site.
The research also revealed that after the cost of the product, free delivery and return options, the search function was the third most important aspect for consumers when choosing to shop on one website over another.
In fact, 63% of consumers said they are less likely to make a purchase if the site search isn’t good and they can’t find what they’re looking for.
EmpathyBroker said retailers had, more than ever, to get the customer digital experience right. “Creating more memorable online experiences not only generates sales, it creates emotion, brand connection and loyalty. It’s no longer enough to offer great products or have the coolest store. It helps, yes, but in the end, it all comes back to emotions, to making people feel unique and special. Smart retailers are thinking more about people, relationships and creating memorable and joyful digital experiences,” said EmpathyBroker founder Angel Maldonado.
“Moments of joy in digital are real. They can be achieved when we’re pleasantly surprised by something that fulfils our goals, whether that’s something we’re actively looking for or not. The search box creates rich interactions, helping brands to engage with consumers, and deliver a more enjoyable and meaningful experience that leaves a lasting impression.“