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Monday, April 16, 2018

Experience-driven ecommerce strategies work

Global software company Episerver, which offers web content management, digital commerce and digital marketing through its Cloud-based software platform, released Reimagining Commerce: Global Findings, an analysis of consumers' current online shopping habits worldwide. According to statistics portal Statista, global e-commerce sales are expected to eclipse $2.8 trillion in 2018; Episerver's research found that this growth will depend on a new definition of commerce.

"Commerce" no longer means making a purchase, but rather encompasses the entire journey from research to final sale," report authors wrote. "This modern definition of commerce includes activities like inspiration seeking, problem solving, product discovery, product research, product comparison and more. Shopping today is just as much about the experience as it is about the purchase – maybe even more so. Businesses have opportunities to bend these experiences in their favor, but only if they can look beyond transactions. Paying too much attention to conversions blinds brands from other powerful engagement opportunities that exist throughout the entire online customer journey."

Key findings revealed

Among the key findings discussed in the report are that brands are at a turning point in their relationships with shoppers. "Brands willing to invest in all aspects of the online shopping experience set themselves up for long-term success, while those that focus too heavily on transactions are not accounting for shoppers' diverse expectations and needs when shopping online," Episerver noted.

In addition to confirming that online shopping is on the rise worldwide, the report reveals insights on consumer behavior:

  • Online shoppers log on to do more than purchase.
  • Shoppers are comfortable with personalization and reward brands that employ it.
  • Shoppers' tolerance for misinformation online is low.
  • Disappointing online shopping experiences have monetary consequences.
  • Personalization influences perception.
  • Connected consumers are on the rise.
  • Shoppers welcome technology-driven experiences, but expect payoffs.

Researchers warned that while consumers will continue to shop online, growth could plateau if consumers have negative or lackluster online shopping experiences. In its survey of 4,000 global consumers, Episerver also found the following top three culprits for abandoning purchases online:

  • Shipping too expensive (60 percent)
  • Inablity to find what they're looking for (54 percent)
  • Price concerns (46 percent)

Respondents indicated what they want most when shopping online, as follows:

  • Product specifications (63 percent)
  • Customer reviews (55 percent)
  • Images of the product in use (41 percent)

Need to get it right

Of significance is that 95 percent of respondents said they have passed on making purchases when they have found content to be insufficient, vague or flat-out wrong.

This puts companies under pressure to get it right when it comes to providing consumers optimal experiences online. "What exactly does 'right' mean?" report authors wrote. "According to our findings, it comes down to crafting experiences that shoppers love, find valuable and come back for."

To download the complimentary report, visit www.episerver.com/learn/resources/research--reports/online-consumer-behavior-2018/ . end of article

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