Top Influences that Drive Online Consumer Purchases
A big change to retail is the impact from millennials and mobile activity. The number of consumers shopping on a mobile device has spiked and the trend stands to increase. In 2015, consumers made 51% of their purchases online. Consumers are spoiled with choices and it’s time for businesses to rethink business decisions and customer experiences. According to Forrester, 71% of businesses prioritized customer experience improvements as their top initiative for 2016.
So, what drives consumers to complete an online purchase? There are a number of driving forces when it comes to generating a conversion, but dollars and cents are by far a game changer. Surprisingly, price determines more than brand loyalty (according to a 2017 consumer trend report by Kibo). Consumers are willing to trade up on brands if the price is right. But what if you can’t budge on price without losing profit? You can find out what’s important to your consumers and win their hearts & wallet this way.
Here’s what consumers indicated as a factor that influenced their purchase behavior:
1. Interactive Content
Think interactive videos, interactive infographics, galleries, polls & surveys, interactive white papers, contests/sweepstakes, and calculators. Interactive content keeps users engaged with your content and also gathers rich data so you can profile your prospects.
2. Product Reviews
Product reviews give shoppers the trust and confidence needed to make a decision. Encourage your customers to leave feedback on your products. If you can add the ability for reviewers to upload an image or video of your product, you are looking at better storytelling and more reviews.
3. Simple Shopping Cart/Checkout Experience
Don’t force shoppers to register, make it an option. Forcing a login or registration can cause a shopper to abandon their cart. Try to keep your checkout on a single page or at least provide a progress indicator letting shoppers know they have 2 more steps to complete their purchase (as an example). Set clear expectations on shipping costs & delivery time ahead of billing – ask for credit card details last.
4. Multiple Fulfillment Options
Today customers are less willing to endure long shipping times. Provide more fulfillment options such as buy online, pickup in-store – aka BOPIS (this is a real retail acronym -I’m not making this up). AND always offer expedited shipping. Make it convenient for your customers.
5. Quantity of Product Availability
Inventory availability gives shoppers confidence to make a purchase. Consumers expect product availability no matter if they purchase on-line or pickup in-store.
6. Live Chat
According to Gartner, live chat is expected to grow 400% as a preferred digital engagement channel from 2015-2018 – growing from 2% to 10% of overall interactions in 2018. Live chat provides a personal interaction with your customers, and allows you to troubleshoot any issues right from the product page. Aside from providing real-time convenience to your customers, live chat can also increase conversions and lift AOV.
Customer Experience is Key
According to Kibo, 92% of consumers ALSO said shopping cart recommendations were a big factor in completing their purchase, and 85% said personalizing the homepage with promotions. Customers want real-time personalized shopping experiences tailored to their specific needs and curiosities. Find a sophisticated personalization platform (ie. Barilliance, Monetate, Rich Relevance, Bunting, etc.) that empowers you to deliver customized, relevant, and meaningful shopping experiences with your customers. Web personalization is the new tool to help businesses prosper in the new #MeCommerce market.
Businesses must embrace Customer Experience to power tomorrow. Since 2000, 52% of the Fortune 500 companies have disappeared due to digital disruption and not keeping the pace. Take responsibility for the digital transformation of your business and start with what’s important to your customers.