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Platform Shift in Shopping Behaviour

Platform Shift in Shopping Behaviour

In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, consumer shopping behaviors have undergone a profound transformation. The rise of e-commerce, coupled with the growing importance of online presence, has led to a seismic shift in how consumers make purchasing decisions. Let's explore these trends and the compelling statistics that underscore the significance of your brand's online presence.

The Research Phase : How do consumers discover new products

The answer may not surprise you, as consumers still prefer the same channels as they did in 2022: browsing the web, visiting retail stores, and checking out social media and TV ads. According to Hubspot, 34% consumers discover new products by searching the internet; while 28% wandering around retail stores to learn about the new things; 27% digging through social media, and the rest is for watching television ads and through word of mouth. 

However, not all consumers are the same, and their preferences vary depending on their age group. If your products are age - targeting, let’s take a closer look at how different generations like to learn about products and what that means for your marketing strategy.

Overall, customers frequently begin their product discovery journey by searching online. A study by Retail Dive found that 87% of shoppers begin product searches online. They browse websites, read product reviews, and compare prices before even setting foot in a physical store.

Shopping today is a whole new experience compared to the past 

Thanks to digital transformation, consumers have more choices and convenience than ever before. They can shop online through different digital channels, such as:

  • Websites and apps from retailers like Walmart, Carrefour, and Woolworths, which account for more than one-fifth (23%) of online sales
  • Websites or apps from brands like Tory Burch, Columbia, and Shiseido, which have adopted direct-to-consumer (D2C) business models and capture more than a quarter (26%) of online shopping
  • Online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba, which dominate almost half (41%) of online shopping

(Statistic by Salesforce Research - Connect Shopper Report 2022 )

But online shopping is not limited to these channels. Consumers can also buy products from other digital platforms, such as on social commerce like WeChat, Instagram, Pinterest, and other emerging touchpoints that offer "buy now" buttons. These platforms now make up 9% of online purchases, and are the best place for selling phone accessories, make-up products, fashion  apparels, jewelry, artworks, home decor, sport & fitness accessories, books, baby care products, seasonal goods… 

ECommerce is booming, but that doesn't mean shoppers have forgotten their favorite experiment in physical stores. Nearly a third of consumers say they like to learn and buy products in retail stores. This method is more popular among older generations, but it still appeals to some younger ones. Almost 20% of Millennials prefer to discover products in person. Stores are still important for product discovery, experience, and fulfillment. Retail is not dead, especially for older shoppers. 

A study from Statista about the main channels to buy products for consumers in the U.S. 2022 revealed the favorable place for shopping is deeply impacted by generation - the below figure

How shoppers choose where to buy: different channels have different appeals

Shoppers have many options to buy online, from retailers, brands’ webshop, and online marketplaces. But what makes them pick one over the other in this competitive market?

- Retailer - With strong mechanism in:
- Return and Exchange Option
- Customer Service
- Loyalty Program

Retailers’ websites and apps attract shoppers who want hassle-free returns and excellent customer care. They also offer rewards or loyalty programs that entice shoppers with exclusive benefits.

- Brand’s webshop or mobile app - With the unique selling points in:    
- Authenticity and Quality   
- Customer Service
- Loyalty Program

Brands that sell directly to consumers appeal to shoppers who look for quality or authenticity as well as unique products that may not be found in other channels. By eliminating the middleman, brands can also offer customized products that suit shoppers' specific needs and preferences. This adds another attraction when the shopper evaluates the available shopping options.

Online Marketplace - With their positioning in:
- Competitive Price
- Dilivery and Pickup Options
- Product Variety

Online marketplaces are the go-to choice for shoppers who care about price or delivery and pickup choices. They also offer a huge product selection that shoppers can browse through easily. Marketplaces like Amazon are known for their variety of products.

Whether you're selling industrial products or consumer goods, your online presence is integral to your success. It's the digital storefront that opens your brand to a global audience, influences purchasing decisions, and builds trust with your customers.

In this age of e-commerce dominance and digital transformation, your brand's website is your most powerful tool to engage, influence, and sell to the ever-evolving consumer market. Today’s shoppers like multitasking. They can examine your products in person while undergo research on them online via their mobile phones. Stores that can bridge physical and digital worlds are gaining over advantages in competitive marketplace, for example: pushing geolocation coupon to a shopper’s phone the moment they step inside your store.

Your brand website is not just a sales platform; it's a goldmine of data. You can gather valuable insights about your customers' behavior, preferences, and demographics, helping you tailor your products, marketing strategies, and customer experiences to meet their specific needs. This data-driven approach can give you a competitive edge and help you make informed business decisions. You can build your web-shop with ready-made Commerce platforms or open-source eCommerce. These are the popular names in many top lists: Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, Square Online, Wix, Squarespace, CoreCommerce

Selling products or services online is essential for any business that wants to take advantage of the booming online sales. On a small scale, you can start by choosing from many ready-made eCommerce platforms that can save you money and time. However, finding the right platform for your business can be tricky, as different platforms have different features and capabilities. Not all of them may suit your business needs. Therefore, you should do some research before deciding on one option.

7 key factors that you need to consider when you are looking for the best eCommerce platforms for your business 

1. Price: How much do you have to pay for the platform's monthly fee and processing fees?

You should choose a platform that fits your budget and offers the features you need. Don't compromise on the essentials for a lower price. Compare the pros and cons of each platform to find the best value for your money. For example, you can see a comparison chart of some of the top platforms from eCommerce-Platforms.

2. Integrations: What plugins and tools can you integrate with the platform to run your business smoothly?

You should look for a platform that offers the tools you need or already use for your business, such as accounting, email marketing, customer loyalty, shipping, etc. For example, Shopify has a lot of tools for you to run your business. 

3. SEO Friendliness: How well does the platform help your website rank high on search engines?

You should look for a platform that allows you to add a blog to your website, use your own domain name, and enable customers to leave reviews. These factors can improve your SEO performance and attract more organic traffic. For example, BigCommerce is known for its SEO friendliness. 

4. Mobile Friendliness: How easy is it for customers to access and buy from your website on their mobile devices?

You should look for a platform that offers a responsive and user-friendly design for mobile devices. Nearly 70% of searches are done from mobile devices , and mobile phones are the most used device for online shopping. You don't want to lose customers because of a poor mobile experience. It’s advisable to do a mobile-first version of your eCommerce platform.

5. Customer Service: How good is the platform's customer service and how can you reach them?

You should look for a platform that offers 24/7 support and multiple channels of communication. You never know when you might encounter technical issues or need assistance with your website. You want to have someone to call at any time to help you fix the problem. For example, WooCommerce has a dedicated support team that can help you with any issue.

6. Security: How secure is the platform for your customers' data and payments?

You should look for a platform that supports HTTPS/SSL for a secure checkout and is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. Security is one of the biggest concerns among consumers , and you don't want to risk losing their trust or facing legal consequences. For example, Magento is a platform that offers high security standards.

7. Scalability: How well does the platform adapt to your business growth and needs?

You should look for a platform that can scale with your business and doesn't charge you exorbitant fees for doing so. You want to be able to handle higher demands and add more features as your business takes off. Choose a platform that can grow with you and won't limit your potential. For example, Wix is a platform that offers unlimited scalability.

Shopping today is more than just paying for a product at a store’s POS or at the checkout page. It is a whole range of activities that include finding and learning about products, browsing and buying online or offline, getting service and support, and becoming a loyal fan of a brand. The way consumers do these activities has changed a lot and become part of their daily lives. What can brands and retailers do to stand out in a crowded and complex market? Shopping is more and more about making brands part of the daily lives of consumers, wherever they like to interact.

Figuring out what your store will need as you grow and keeping up with trends is a challenge, but it is well worth it in the end to create processes that work and will scale with your business. Knowing what to look for ahead of time makes choosing a platform an easier process and can help you find success!

What features do you look for in eCommerce software? If you need help with any of these aspects, you can always reach out to us for a free consultation on defining your scope as well as the required workforce for your project. Dicom Interactive is one of the top boutique software development with offices located in Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam and Melbourne – Australia, with over 15 years experience in the business.  We have been working on a variety of projects across the continents, with focus on education, transportation, entertainment, game, healthcare, insurance, food & beverage, automobile, and travel industry. We can help you achieve your online marketing objectives such as improving web rankings, traffic, and conversions…

Let's contact us and talk about how we can work together to make your website stand out.

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