What do online shoppers want

What online shoppers want

Now online retailers could actually sit back and relax: 87 percent of customers in Germany are satisfied with their online shopping; only 4 percent complain. This is the result of a current study by the digital agency Arithnea and the market research institute Splendid Research. But despite the high level of satisfaction, the study still reveals a lot of potential for improvement and trends for the future.

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Above all, there is a need for improvement at the check-out: the customer has searched, the customer has found - and yet he ends the digital shopping trip without actually buying the items in the shopping cart.

The study reveals that the most common reason for this is high shipping costs (68 percent), followed by inadequate payment methods (53 percent). This is especially true for the older target group. “Buyers are bothered by everything that is costly and takes too long - such as creating a customer account - or anything that drives the price,” summarizes Boris Bohn, Managing directors at Arithnea. The study also identified "mandatory customer accounts" (37 percent) as well as poor return processes (32 percent) and non-transparent product information (31 percent) as important consumer killers.

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Where target groups hang around

Where are my potential customers? The drifters' map known from "Harry Potter" could easily provide information about this. The magic document shows all movement patterns of the people on the school premises. Today, the data experts who link mobile, online and offline data work according to a similar principle in order to address potential customers for the online shop precisely on the medium through which they can be reached at the moment. Read more

A study by Episerver also confirms that inadequate content can have dramatic consequences. For the "Reimagining Commerce" study, the provider of shop solutions asked 1,000 consumers from Germany, the USA, Great Britain and Scandinavia about their online shopping behavior. Incorrect or incomplete content on a branded website or in the mobile app has accordingly prevented 98 percent of German online customers from making a purchase.

If customers have to reveal too much about themselves, this is a reason for more than one in three (39 percent) to stop, says the Arithnea study. Episerver also confirms that their privacy is important to buyers: Although 88 percent of German online customers say that, compared to 2018, they prefer brands and retailers who offer personalized experiences online, 93 percent still give priority to companies that do respect their anonymity online.

After buying is before buying

The customer experience doesn't stop with the purchase, says Arithnea managing director Bohn. Because if the goods do not like the goods, customers want an easy way to return them (73 percent). Matching vouchers for the next purchase are also welcome by half of those surveyed (48 percent). All other follow-ups, such as contact via chat, a request for evaluation or personalized advertising, are undesirable.
A postal mailing could be an alternative to digital follow-up. In contrast to the contacts described above, consumers do not refuse to be addressed via letters. At least that is the result of the current CMC Dialogpost study that the Collaborative Marketing Club presented a few weeks ago in cooperation with Deutsche Post. Accordingly, the conversion rate for postal mailings in the online shops that took part in the study was 4.5 percent. For comparison: for e-mail campaigns, this is around 0.1 to 0.2 percent. It also shows that the postal advertising material stays in the customer's household for several months. The result: The print mailings generate further contacts and trigger buying impulses from the recipients many weeks later.

Touching means wanting to have

Olaf Hartmann, Founder of the agency Touchmore, which specializes in haptic brand communication, explains this with the possession or endowment effect. The thesis formulated by Richard Thaler, University of Chicago, states: If we own a product, it is more valuable to us than if we just see it. This already applies to products that we simply had in hand: the willingness to buy increases. “Because only what we can feel with our own hands do we perceive to be 100 percent trustworthy,” says Olaf Hartmann, describing the phenomenon; "Print is one of the few advertising channels that can serve all the senses."
The majority of customers, as the results of the Arithnea study described above say, are satisfied with their shopping experience. But the demands on the customer experience will increase. Digital commerce will reach critical mass in 2019, Episerver predicts. Consumers' digital habits are starting to stabilize. According to the global survey of 4,500 online customers, 26 percent of respondents currently shop online at least once a week. According to the Episerver experts, this plateau effect in digital retail is forcing companies to continuously improve their shopping experience. With every additional player added to the already overcrowded digital shopping ecosystem, it becomes more difficult for companies to attract consumers' attention. Episerver's conclusion: "To survive, brands and retailers must implement dynamic, integrated content marketing and customer experience strategies that enable personal, emotional relationships with buyers beyond the transaction."

The article will appear first on Horizont.net.


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