Only 17% Of Consumers Browse With Intent To Purchase On First E-Commerce Site Visit

Online shopping trips don’t always lead to a purchase, and only 17% of customers say buying something is their primary purpose when visiting a brand’s web site for the first time, according to the 2018 Reimagining Commerce study from Episerver.

“The majority of people come for something other than buying a product,” said Ed Kennedy, Director of Digital Commerce Strategy at Episerver in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “They come to browse, look at prices and compare. There’s all these other journeys that, as retailers, we’ve sort of forgotten about.”

Even when consumers visit a web site with a product in mind, the purpose of their first click varies. Only half (50%) of shoppers immediately head for the product they want to purchase, while the other half start by browsing sections including:

  • Sale items (19%);
  • Shipping information (8%);
  • Payment information (6%); and
  • Featured product recommendations (5%).

The top reasons for abandoning a site before completing a purchase include weak product, store or brand information, which has dissuaded 95% of online shoppers from completing a purchase at some point. Other impediments that turned consumers away included expensive shipping (60%); being unable to find what they were looking for (54%); and price concerns (46%).

One important part of converting browsing into buying is on-site search optimization, according to Kennedy. Making it easy for a consumer to reach a product page on a retailer’s web site can significantly boost the conversion rate.

“There’s a very strong correlation between the total amount of traffic you have and the amount of traffic that gets to a product page,” said Kennedy. “If you’re a retailer with a large product assortment, search is going to be key. How you set up search and how you set up navigation is going to be a very critical part of the buying journey.”

The top “must-haves” for shoppers include: Easy-to-use product search functions; ample information about products and returns; and personalized recommendations. When those features are not available, 9% will abandon the site. And the abandonment rate rises significantly, to 42%, among shoppers who are online daily.

Accurate Information And Personalization Are Deal-Breakers

 

Four key types of information will make or break shoppers’ purchase decisions:

  • Product specifications (63%);
  • Customer reviews (55%);
  • Images of products in use (41%); and
  • Sales information such as store locations and hours (34%).

Personalization is another important element of successful shopper marketing, but it must be done right. As many as 22% of shoppers have received ads for products they would never purchase, while 16% have received similarly misguided product recommendations.

“We’re at the point where optimized product recommendations are standard across most e-Commerce web sites, so those automated product recommendations are usually where the problem comes in,” said Kennedy. “The algorithms are set up in a very rudimentary way, showing me what I recently viewed or what I recently purchased. Those are very basic algorithms that make a very poor customer experience.”

Retailers can avoid personalization-gone-wrong by tuning algorithms to better fit their shoppers’ specific needs. That may mean a longer timeline to prep for personalization: Episerver often tracks order data for several months before launching a recommendation engine for retailers.

Retailers Must Focus On Cross-Device Marketing

While 29% of shoppers browse on their smartphones daily, only 27% will complete a purchase during the mobile site visit. But, rather than focus on the mobile conversion rate alone, retailers should look closer at omnichannel shopper behavior.

“Most consumers buy across channels, so they start on mobile and they end on desktop, or they go from mobile to tablet,” said Kennedy. “A lot of retailers I’ve worked with get very myopic and worried about mobile conversion rate, and really, they need to look at multiple devices and the whole journey across devices.”

 

By looking at cross-device behavior retailers are able to deliver a more relevant and personalized experience. When consumers log in on both mobile and desktop, retailers can synch profiles across devices to deliver more relevant remarketing ads, promotions and product recommendations.

 

 

Online shopping trips don’t always lead to a purchase, and only 17% of customers say buying something is their primary purpose when visiting a brand’s web site for the first time, according to the 2018 Reimagining Commerce study from Episerver.

“The majority of people come for something other than buying a product,” said Ed Kennedy, Director of Digital Commerce Strategy at Episerver in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “They come to browse, look at prices and compare. There’s all these other journeys that, as retailers, we’ve sort of forgotten about.”

Even when consumers visit a web site with a product in mind, the purpose of their first click varies. Only half (50%) of shoppers immediately head for the product they want to purchase, while the other half start by browsing sections including:

·        Sale items (19%);

·        Shipping information (8%);

·        Payment information (6%); and

·        Featured product recommendations (5%).

The top reasons for abandoning a site before completing a purchase include weak product, store or brand information, which has dissuaded 95% of online shoppers from completing a purchase at some point. Other impediments that turned consumers away included expensive shipping (60%); being unable to find what they were looking for (54%); and price concerns (46%).

One important part of converting browsing into buying is on-site search optimization, according to Kennedy. Making it easy for a consumer to reach a product page on a retailer’s web site can significantly boost the conversion rate.

“There’s a very strong correlation between the total amount of traffic you have and the amount of traffic that gets to a product page,” said Kennedy. “If you’re a retailer with a large product assortment, search is going to be key. How you set up search and how you set up navigation is going to be a very critical part of the buying journey.”

The top “must-haves” for shoppers include: Easy-to-use product search functions; ample information about products and returns; and personalized recommendations. When those features are not available, 9% will abandon the site. And the abandonment rate rises significantly, to 42%, among shoppers who are online daily.

Accurate Information And Personalization Are Deal-Breakers

Four key types of information will make or break shoppers’ purchase decisions:

·        Product specifications (63%);

·        Customer reviews (55%);

·        Images of products in use (41%); and

·        Sales information such as store locations and hours (34%).

Personalization is another important element of successful shopper marketing, but it must be done right. As many as 22% of shoppers have received ads for products they would never purchase, while 16% have received similarly misguided product recommendations.

“We’re at the point where optimized product recommendations are standard across most e-Commerce web sites, so those automated product recommendations are usually where the problem comes in,” said Kennedy. “The algorithms are set up in a very rudimentary way, showing me what I recently viewed or what I recently purchased. Those are very basic algorithms that make a very poor customer experience.”

Retailers can avoid personalization-gone-wrong by tuning algorithms to better fit their shoppers’ specific needs. That may mean a longer timeline to prep for personalization: Episerver often tracks order data for several months before launching a recommendation engine for retailers.

Retailers Must Focus On Cross-Device Marketing

While 29% of shoppers browse on their smartphones daily, only 27% will complete a purchase during the mobile site visit. But, rather than focus on the mobile conversion rate alone, retailers should look closer at omnichannel shopper behavior.

“Most consumers buy across channels, so they start on mobile and they end on desktop, or they go from mobile to tablet,” said Kennedy. “A lot of retailers I’ve worked with get very myopic and worried about mobile conversion rate, and really, they need to look at multiple devices and the whole journey across devices.”

By looking at cross-device behavior retailers are able to deliver a more relevant and personalized experience. When consumers log in on both mobile and desktop, retailers can synch profiles across devices to deliver more relevant remarketing ads, promotions and product recommendations.

 

End Of Net Neutrality Creates Uncertain Future For E-Commerce

On Dec. 14, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to repeal current net neutrality regulations designed to ensure that consumers have equal access to the Internet, content providers like YouTube and Netflix were not the only companies worried that their offerings could take a major hit. While effects of the repeal likely won’t be felt until 2018 at the earliest, e-Commerce retailers now must adjust to an uncertain environment — one in which they may have to pay up in order to get out in front of the consumer.

The main argument against the repeal is that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) won’t be required to treat all data the same, so they could potentially charge users more to access specific sites or view certain content, or impose tighter data caps. Additionally, ISPs could force Internet companies and web sites to pay more for faster connections — potentially leading to the slowdown or even blocking of online traffic.

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Boxed To Roll Out AR, Chatbot And Group Ordering Early In 2018

Boxed, an online wholesaler of bulk-sized essentials and grocery products, has been dubbed the “Costco for Millennials” due to its focus on a young, tech-savvy audience. In early 2018, the company will seek to live up to that billing with the launch of three new customer-facing technologies within its online and mobile experiences, including:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) View using the Apple ARKit framework;
  • A Facebook Messenger chatbot; and
  • Group ordering, enabling shoppers to share links and even split the bill through Venmo.

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ASICS Speeds Up E-Commerce Operations With API-Led Product Management

When ASICS, an athletic apparel retailer best known for its footwear, launched a GlobalDigital division in October 2016, the brand wanted to focus on developing innovative digital technologies that helped it better connect with consumers. But with various international subsidiaries, including ASICS Tiger and outdoor retailer Haglöfs, each with different product management and order management systems, the retailer simply had too many point-to-point connections that were slowing down e-Commerce operations.

In April 2017, the retailer selected the Anypoint Platform, an API management and integration solution from MuleSoft, to open up communication between the disparate systems and enhance customer experiences across its subsidiaries. In just four weeks, the Anypoint Platform enabled ASICS to drive the transition of ASICS Europe B.V. and other divisions to a new e-Commerce platform built on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. The company then rolled out Salesforce Commerce Cloud across its Runkeeper and Haglöfs brands in a subsequent project.

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64% Of E-Commerce Leaders ‘Tune’ Sites To Maximize Holiday Conversions

In e-Commerce, seconds — even fractions of seconds — can mean the difference between a completed sale and a lost one. So it’s hardly a surprise that nearly two thirds (64%) of leading online retailers “tune up” their web sites for the all-important holiday season.

Simply put, speed is critical: 71% of e-Commerce executives said shoppers don’t convert due to slow page load times, and virtually all (97%) believe web site performance directly impacts their online revenue.

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Cyber Monday Becomes ‘Mobile Monday’ With $6.5 Billion Revenue Haul

Three days after bringing in $5.03 billion online on Black Friday, retailers outdid themselves once again, reeling in a record $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday — 16.8% growth year-over-year. For the first time in the U.S., Cyber Monday mobile revenue has broken the $2 billion barrier, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

Mobile growth continues to accelerate: shoppers placed 37% of orders and made 56% of visits from phones on Cyber Monday, according to data from Salesforce. These totals well outpace last year’s figures of 29% and 48%, respectively. As more consumers become comfortable purchasing with a mobile device, retailers must continue developing digital experiences to match their expectations across all devices.

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Boden Cuts Cart Abandonment 81% With Triggered Email Campaigns

Boden, a British apparel retailer, noticed that 70% of shoppers who put merchandise in their bodenusa.com shopping carts abandoned those carts without making a purchase. To make matters worse, the company’s existing triggered email program was not identifying enough of these abandoning shoppers to enable proper follow-up.

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Singles Day Hauls In $25 Billion, Doubling 2016 Online Thanksgiving Weekend Sales

Alibaba’s Singles Day has officially kicked off the global holiday push in a massive way, doubling the $12.8 billion in online sales generated between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday in 2016. The e-Commerce giant sold $25.3 billion in merchandise through its marketplaces on Nov. 11, a 39% increase over the previous year.

Additionally, Alibaba hit a record $18 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in just 13 hours on Saturday, eclipsing last year’s record of $17.8 billion in 24 hours. Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, attributed the increase to the company’s “new retail” strategy, which is designed to blend online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain. A remarkable 90% of the GMV was generated on mobile devices, a marker of the power and widespread acceptance of Chinese mobile payment platforms.

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Walmart Predicts Lofty 40% E-Commerce Growth For 2018

Walmart hasn’t been modest about its e-Commerce expansion plans over the past year, acquiring various online-first retailers and investing in numerous omnichannel initiatives. These significant online investments have paid off for the retail giant, with the company anticipating annual U.S. e-Commerce sales growth to hit 40% in 2018 (referred to as fiscal year 2019). But even more changes are in store for the retailer, including plans to nearly double the number of online grocery pickup locations in 2018 and streamlining product return processes via its mobile app.

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Petals Network Boosts Email Revenue 20% YOY With Email Triggers

Petals Network, an international subsidiary of floral wire service company Teleflora, wanted to reduce email campaign creation time as it manages approximately 2,000 e-Commerce sites on behalf of local florist partners. The company ran into challenges with its legacy email platform, which made it difficult to quickly segment and consolidate disparate partner and customer information. This resulted in a lack of messaging triggers and low engagement from customers.

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