Online Retailers: Go Where the Customers Are (Report)

Most people prefer desktop or laptop computers for online shopping and use mobile devices for research or in-store assists.

Ecommerce and social media are deeply intertwined parts of the digital economy. Still, there is a lot for social marketers to learn a lot from online shoppers by paying attention to changing consumer behaviors. A report from digital commerce consultancy SUMO Heavy examines how ecommerce is changing and offers insights for both advertisers and ecommerce providers.

According to the report, there are some misconceptions about device use, including the supposed death of desktop: 81 percent of the 1,029 respondents said they generally have great experiences on their laptops and desktops computers. On the other hand, 48 percent of survey respondents said their tablet shopping experience left much to be desired, and one out of five rated their mobile shopping experiences as highly unpleasant.

Despite the poor experiences, 28 percent of respondents said they preferred shopping from mobile devices, so it’s time for marketers to provide an optimized experience. And with users accessing content across a variety of channels and platforms, marketers also direct need to put more efforts into creating an integrated omnichannel experience.

Indeed, 62 percent of consumers use smartphones to assist in-person shopping by comparing prices, searching for deals and seeking out product reviews. While stores may be providing applications for this purpose, 64 percent of consumers prefer mobile-optimized sites. Online retailers and marketers need to meet customers where they are.

Although the many predictions that a social shopping revolution was on its way, buy buttons have been largely ignored by consumers. While 75 percent of survey respondents were familiar with buy buttons, fewer than 10 percent have ever used them, and 61 percent of those familiar with buy buttons said they had no plans to use them any time soon. However, there is some hope for social ecommerce, with 73 percent of social shoppers saying they would use them again.

Frequent shoppers are generally more connected to their devices than others. 46 percent of this group preferred tablets and smartphones to desktop shopping, and 75 percent used their smartphones while shopping in store. Focusing on power users and shoppers should also be a priority, as unhappy customers are likely to jump to competitors.

The lessons for marketers are simple: Go where your customers are going, optimize for the platforms they choose to use and reach them when they are on their way to a purchase, either in store or online.

For more information, check out the full report.

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