Current trends in 2022, online sales are accounting for over 1/5 of all purchases. This continued shift in spending will drive businesses and online store owners to improve the customer experience and ensure that customer service competes since the trend is considered disruptive and will surpass retail stores in its trajectory. As an example, BigCommerce has onboard over 4000 businesses so far this year, as the trend continues to push towards online shopping. Over 50% of consumers shop online once a week and that trend is growing due to convenience and reliability.
Consumer Shopping Trends
The top 3 ranked shopping categories are Fashion/Apparel at 80%, Electronics at 56%, and Entertainment/Media at 55%. The lowest categories are Automotive/Boating at 14%, Investment trends (Crypto/NFTs) at 15%, Luxury apparel at 19%, and Baby and toddler items at 19%.
16% of today's buyers use the "Buy now, Pay Later" payment feature from online retailers which is improving conversion rates and offering a great customer experience. With alternative payment methods such as digital wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.), Buy Now Pay Later has been penetrating the checkout space aggressively. The USA, UK, and Australia are the biggest user of Buy Now Pay Later. The feature has been surveyed where 49% say that it helps purchases fit in their budgets while improving customer satisfaction vs. lay-away, or having to save up for it, or use their credit cards with higher interest rates. It is the convenience, low-cost of borrowing, and transparency of the transaction that's appreciated by customers which in turn improves good customer service to great customer service.
Sustainability as a Purchasing Decision
84% rate sustainability is being considered as a purchasing decision. Given that Fashion/Apparel is the top consumer purchase, the move to sustainable threads including shoes has become an important factor and will affect the number of conversions your store has. Online shoppers will look to see if electronics are recyclable, and when promoting sustainability, will enhance the shopping experience. Consumers are reluctant to pay more for a sustainable product vs. a commodity, which puts pressure on the brand on its pricing strategy. Convenience can be traded for a more sustainable product and has been shown to be a way around the cost factor on some products - thus shipping and logistics can be looked into for such a trade-off.
Metaverse and Shoppers
26% of consumers have a strong understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) bots, Augmented Reality (AR) interfaces, and how social media integrates with AI systems. Without tainting the subjects being asked about the metaverse, 26% had a strong understanding, and 25% had a good understanding of the AI technologies involved with the Metaverse. 46% are willing to engage and purchase with Metaverse and of these 51% are interested in purchasing virtual and physical goods.
Personal Data Sharing vs. Personalized Experiences
72% of consumers are willing to trade their personal data for a more personalized experience - meaning this is a new CX strategy for online stores. Personalization is a key driver for brand loyalty, optimizing re-marketing, and lowering your Ad costs while increasing your conversions on-site - this is why focusing on Loyalty programs, targeted Ads, Awards and benefits and other customized experiences are key for business growth and retention. Gen Z and Millenials are the most willing to share their personal data while Baby Boomers and Gen X are more skeptical in giving up their personal data. Gender, Email and Name are readily provided respectively, with birth date being something more private to give out.
With the continued push to digitize our world, it is not surprising that online stores continue to grow in both number and revenue while shoppers are increasingly confident in their security and access through their smartphones. Events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are demonstrating record-breaking purchases and consumer spending every year, and while the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the shift from brick-and-mortar purchasing to online shopping, advancements in AI/AR and transparency like Shopify Shop App will boost confidence and thus conversion. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org