Internet users are many and they are so widespread and different from one another that it may seem quite hard to understand their behavior while browsing online. Moreover, even when some general trends are identified, these keep changing as the technology used evolves and new ways of “doing stuff online” are introduced. Target ecommerce users become more and more hard as they use so many different ways of purchasing products and services.
For example, while a few years ago the main device to access the internet was your desktop computer, today users browse through their mobile phones almost as much. Target a user by adapting the communication to the type of device used is very important. Also, just think about how your typical consumer habits have changed. Up until a few years ago, the trend was to research products and services online and then to purchase these in retail stores. Today, we research and buy directly online which completely changed how retail brands and service providers market products and access potential customers.
Probably the biggest change of all that affects almost all industries and marketplaces is the percentage of users hunting for information online and on a daily basis. Let’s take as an example the UK. In 2014, stats show us around 40 million people being daily web users. One year later, the number rises to a whopping 393 million (Statista). If you’re curious to find out internet users by country or another segment, InternetLiveStats is a great site to have bookmarked in your browser. Why is this important? Because if once internet users and related stats were associated to countries in the Western World, today the internet connection, as well as online consumers, are everywhere. The world is your marketplace and that is the change of the decade.
Consumer habits in 2016: how do we shop online these days?
Seems that more and more users are taking their shopping on the go by purchasing directly from mobile phones and this trend is more than just a “2016 trend“. At the end of 2015, it was calculated that in the UK more than 45% of all online sales were made through a mobile phone. In 2016, it is estimated that this number will only rise (TechWeekEurope). How does that reflect on service and product providers?
It is so important to make sure your ecommerce website is optimized for mobile and tablet users. This means that your webshop should be optimized for mobile and tablet screen viewing and so should some of your marketing campaigns. When researching products through mobile phones, users need shorter, more on point information and easier access to shopping carts. Fewer clicks to the Buy Now button are essential and so is the optimization of menus and filter options.
If you are still not convinced and adamant to invest in mcommerce design and marketing, pay attention to this: Deloitte made available interesting data regarding mobile use in the UK. If in 2012 around 52% of adults had access to mobile phones and 73% to laptops, in 2016 mobile access rose to 76%, lagging only 3% behind laptop owners.
Tablets? A story about to change!
Even though it is estimated that by the end of 2016, tablets will make up for almost 65% of all mcommerce sales in total, seems that this trend is about to change. Looking at the past few years, shopping over tablets has been decreasing and it’s predicted to keep doing so in the upcoming years (Emarketer).
This doesn’t mean that tablets should be overlooked on webshop owners’ part. It is still very much important to have a responsive website that is optimized both for tablet and mobile viewing. Not doing so would mean losing the opportunity to target quite a large audience of today’s tablet owners. However, when talking about future ecommerce design, optimization and marketing investments, more should go onto conquering a bigger share of customers buying with their mobile phones rather than tablets.
Mobile in-store payments
Even though this is fairly the most recent trend in modern user shopping behavior, it is one to keep an eye on. Back 2 years ago, only about 3% of adults in the UK used their mobile to pay instore. Looking at the same stats one year later, the number rose to 13%! (Deloitte)
With the launch of Apple Pay this number is rising further and will do more so once Google introduces its Android Pay, currently in development.
Omni-Channel is your new marketing
As digital research data and stats show us, potential customers use more than just one device during their shopping experience. They may research a product on their mobile phone and then buy the same over the laptop. Or they may purchase it directly using the mobile phone. According to DigitasLBi, today consumers use an average of 5 devices during their purchase process while a few years back they would only use between 2 and 3 devices.
Omni-Channel is your new marketing touch point. User and shopping experience should be optimized for each device use. Expect that a potential customer may visit your webshop both through mobile and desktop before making the decision to purchase something so you do need to make sure that he or she is provided with seamless touch points to reduce basket abandonment.
In today’s competitive online marketplace, both small ecommerce owners and big retailers must adapt fast to meet the online user expectations when buying online. Lack of investment in Omni-Channel design and marketing, as well as poor user experience across devices, will result in loss of revenues and customers.
If you would like to consult with our team of ecommerce digital experts and developers, contact us now. We will get you back in no time!