We asked consumers about their online purchasing habits in a survey throughout November, 2016
At Jetlore, we're interested in learning about the shopper journey, and are creating technologies that improve customer experience for leading IR 500 retailers.
We asked online shoppers about their online purchasing habits in a limited distribution survey, and have drawn some interesting conclusions based on their results. Below, we've published the results, along with the various insights that the answers reveal.
Q1. How often do you shop online?
We started the survey with a very simple question—how often does the average person shop on an e-commerce site? According to your answers, the large majority of respondents shop once or twice a month - but just over a third purchase much more frequently.
Q2. Which online retailers do you frequent?
93% of participants consider Amazon a go-to shopping destination. It's no surprise that Amazon is popular among shoppers, but it's tough to argue that these results are troubling for smaller retailers and brands that can't offer such a comprehensive inventory or similar discounts.
Q3. Are you typically loyal to one company, or can you be convinced to purchase elsewhere?
The key take-away from question 3 is that site loyalty isn't a straightforward relationship. 75% of consumers do not shop exclusively at the same location, and can be influenced into shopping at various sites based on a variety of factors.
Now that consumers have a tremendous variety of online retailers to choose from, it's incredibly important to provide content that is both relevant to their needs and well timed.
Q4. You realize you need a specific item, but aren't sure where it's sold. What do you do first?
70% of customers go straight to Google when they realize they need a certain item. Now that customers have access to a wide variety of shopping destinations, their first action when a shopping need arises is to do their homework.
Based on these results, many marketers would jump straight into SEO optimization—but if there's no retention mechanism to communicate with customers over time, you'll be investing in SEO to acquire the same customers over and over again.
The responses to Questions 3 and 4 illustrate that customer loyalty isn't blind—consumers have preferred sites, but are willing to shop elsewhere.
Q5. When you don't need anything, do you still interact with shopping sites?
The majority of responses showed that customers are willing to browse, even when they don't have an underlying purchase intent. Again, this relates to the fact that consumers do their research prior to buying, and providing relevant content in the higher funnel areas of the customer experience is incredibly important.
Q6. What would get you to make an unplanned online purchase?
The responses to this question are interesting for a couple of reasons: first, consumers seem to embrace the fact that they're influenced by discounts or personalized content, as only 12% of respondents say they wouldn't make an unplanned purchase based on promotional material.
Secondly, even though the last three selections are fairly similar, there was similar volume of customers that value discounts over relevant content, and vice versa. The conclusion to draw here is that customers respond to very different content types. Intent is inspired in incredibly varied ways, and the content retailers prepare needs to adapt to each customer's very different preferences.
Q7. Do you sign up for loyalty programs or e-commerce newsletters?
While nearly 40% of customers strongly prefer guest checkout, 61% of customers allow companies to collect information in exchange for access to a site and services.
Q8. What typically gets your attention in e-commerce newsletters?
The biggest take-away from this question is that relevant content to user likes and preferences is the number one thing that grabs their attention. "Items that relate specifically to your likes and preferences" was even ahead of discounts. That validates our prior observations that customers value relevant content equally or even more than generalized discounts.
Q9. Do your favorite online retailers do a good job of personalizing content to you?
32% of the surveyed consumers don't believe the content they're sent within newsletters or see online relate to their personal interests. And while 68% of customers felt their favorite retailers do a good job with personalization, responses from the previous questions indicate that consumers aren't completely loyal to a single, specific retailer. So are the current forms and methods of personalization effective?
Based on these results, we can conclude that consumers as a whole are willing to provide information in exchange for value, and are otherwise incredibly varied in their needs.
In question 6, there was a fairly even split between customers that want discounts, customers that need to see items relevant to their interests, and customers that need to see both—so the ability to understand what each customer wants and adapt to that preference is a necessity.
Additionally, customer loyalty is fleeting. When a specific item or need comes up, customers automatically turn to search to find the best deal. Because of that, the ability to understand preference and suggest relevant content when there is no purchase intent present is the key to extending customer lifetime value.
Jetlore's dynamic individualization technology accomplishes these goals, and generates significant lifts in customer engagement and revenue for some of the world's largest online retailers because of it. Our Artificially Intelligent Content Ranking technology empowers retailers, by allowing them to easily create an individualized experience in pre-intent channels.