Jennie Dwin

Associate Director, Account Management

E-Commerce Guide to the New Consumer Behaviors

It's no secret that people love shopping online. This shift has forced brands to either navigate the digital space or face the consequences of having an unsatisfied market. However, brands often develop their ecommerce strategies without considering why the industry went digital in the first place. At its core, the change comes down to what consumers want at any given moment. That’s why we’re sharing our best practices for tailoring to their shifting behaviors and expectations.

Consumer Behavior 1: They search based on categories instead of brands, which hinders brand loyalty.  
A Google independent study revealed that today, only 28% of consumers can identify a favorite retailer— a significant drop from 47% in 2008. This contributed to a steep decrease in branded search volume during Q4 of last year. Our suggestion? Invest in Product Listing Ads, or PLAs— the search result sections that display photos and prices of suggested products. If people aren’t specifically searching for your brand, PLAs are a great way to bring your items to the top. This applies especially to quick searchers who will likely click on a featured product before scrolling to the web search results. To get even more out of PLAs, optimize to margin by prioritizing the products that contribute most to your bottom line. Here is another blog showcasing how PLAs can work during peak shopping times.

Consumer Behavior 2: They seek out unprecedented convenience at low prices.
The allure of online shopping is all about convenience, but what does this mean for brands? For retailers, the best way to approach this consumer expectation is through programs that reduce time spent in store. The Rise team recently helped a major craft retailer launch a digital messaging strategy for its new “Buy Online, Pick Up In Store” (BOPIS) program. Within the first month, BOPIS comprised 60% of the retailer’s total online orders. Independent services like Ritual have even brought this idea to the food industry, allowing customers to order with ease and skip the line.
Optimizing to margin is also important for online pick up programs. When choosing which products to make available for BOPIS, keep in mind that customers are still searching for the lowest prices. This means you should consider costs on your end and include items that provide the best value for both you and your customers.

Consumer Behavior 3: They expect in-store experiences that mirror online ones.
Consumers look for streamlined shopping experiences, so brands need to tie together in-store and online data to create cohesive processes. Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways to mirror the online shopping experience in-store. Some brick-and-mortar locations have opted for signage that recommends related products, while others choose a more omni-channel approach. Using online data, retailers display personalized previews on their apps and websites. When consumers see the exclusive items that will soon be available in stores, they become motivated to visit the location after the product release.
While adjusting your strategy to meet changing consumer needs may seem daunting at first, it’s worth paying attention to the trends. Static brands get left behind and understanding consumer insights are the first step to creating an outstanding holistic shopper experience. If you’d like to talk about what this could look like for your brand, contact our team.

07/24/2018 at 09:04

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