online shopping

Chart of the Week – How Social Media Affects Online Shopping

The rise of social media over the past decade has not only changed the way people communicate, it has undoubtedly also had an impact on how they shop, be it online or at a boutique around the corner.

Before making a purchase, consumers now have the chance to scroll through thousands of product photos on Instagram or Pinterest, look for promotions on a retailer’s Facebook page or scroll through comments in a brand’s Twitter feed.

According to PwC’s Total Retail 2016, a global survey of nearly 23,000 people, 78% of consumers are influenced by social media when shopping online. The following chart sums up in which ways social media affects online shopping behavior.


The Digital Shopper Genome

In this McKinsey Insights article, Gadi Benmark and Maher Masri analyze how to build a meaningful picture of the online shopper. Cracking what these authors call the shopper genome requires converting the vast amount of data regarding consumer behavior and desires into meaningful insights.

Until recently, technology barriers were the major challenge to combining insights across different elements of the organization. As these barriers start to fall, more e-commerce companies and their technology providers have an opportunity to develop a coherent, comprehensive profile of their digital customers and effectively engage them across the seven primary digital touchpoints: Internet display advertising, email, mobile advertising, search, shopping engines, social media, and video.

The authors report that the rewards of building a comprehensive view of the online shopper are substantial. They have found that companies that are able to build this profile to inform the way they interact with customers can achieve revenue increases of 10 to 20 percent.

Cracking the shopper genome will enable the company to build a comprehensive customer engagement program and to deliver on the customer’s increasingly high expectations of the digital shopping experience.


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Creating Personal Digital Experiences For Customers

Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer, CMO and co-founder of Hippo, analyzes the factors necessary to create a relevant digital experience for each customer in this iMedia Connection’s article.

Factors include:

-Providing responsive design.

-Developing contextual awareness.

-Building a profile of the individual website visitor’s interests, preferences, and intent based on engagement with the online content.

-Delivering relevant content.

Both B2C and B2B companies need to understand the needs of their customers and to provide relevant, contextually appropriate content for their online business. This relevant content  has two goals:

-To support the customers at any stage of their relationship with the brand.

-To expand the reach of the customers’ journey.

The goal of creating a personal digital experience and relevant online content is to develop a customer who is engaged, who will return to the site, and who will advocate for the business and the brand.

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Americans Increasingly Shop Online and Value Free Shipping

Mintel’s Online Shopping US 2015 report indicates that Americans are increasingly selecting e-tailers rather than brick-and-mortar retailers.

Jack Loechner, writing for the Research Brief From the Center for Media Research, summarizes some of the key points of this study:

-69% of US online adults shop online at least monthly, and 33% have shopped online every week in 2015.

-Free shipping is important to online shoppers.  In fact, 48% of online shoppers admit to occasionally increasing the size of their orders to meet the minimum threshold for free shipping.

-Consumers spend $114 per online order on average.

-Online retail sales have risen from $264.2 billion in 2013 to $304.9 billion in 2014.

-The most frequently purchased products by online shoppers in the past year: books/ebooks, women’s apparel, and footwear.

-Households with larger numbers of children under the age of 18 purchase online more frequently, have higher average online orders, and are more likely to be enrolled in an automatic online reordering service.


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Digital Tools and Their Impact on Online Shoppers

The MarketingCharts staff reviews an Epsilon study which analyzes the digital tools with the greatest impact on the behavior of online shoppers.

This report is based on an online survey of more than 2,800 respondents, and the survey determined an impact score for each digital tool.

Among the digital tools with the highest overall impact score were:

-Retailers’ social media activity

-Price comparison sites

-Shopping applications

-Brands’ social media activity

-Product reviews

The study also compares impact vs. penetration for the different digital tools.

The Epsilon report emphasized that the influence of the identified digital tools has greatly increased from the previous year. These tools impact consumer online shopping and decision-making behavior.


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Online Shopping in 2015

Ayaz Nanji, writing for MarketingProfs, presents the findings of a report by Walker Sands about the state of online shopping in 2015.

Key findings include:

-68% of U.S. consumers shop online at least once a month.

-83% say free shipping makes them more likely to shop online.

-28% shop online at least once per week.

-Amazon is the most popular online retailer.

-40% say they would purchase any sort of product online.


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