New studies from the e-tailing group, with sponsorship from PowerReviews, have produced some interesting insight into how users are leveraging social shopping, social media, and review sites to shop smarter. As the eCommerce market continues to change and adapt to its surroundings it is important to stay current to best reach your customers in the most effective ways.
In this recent study 1,004 adults were surveyed, with the majority falling between 35-44 years old with a nearly even split of men to women.
Those surveyed were asked about their online shopping habits in great detail. It was found that 92% of users shop online for a product at least once a month. This indicated that eCommerce is on the rise as more and more people become more familiar and more comfortable with buying products online. In fact, online shopping has grown quite substantially from 2010.
Today, we see a far greater number of users purchasing products online. But today’s online shoppers are not only more prevalent, they are much smarter too. As seen below, the percentage of research associated with online products has dramatically increased from 2010. The reason being is with so many choices and deals online, shoppers are more than ever interested in finding the best deal their money can buy them. Remember that consumers invest greater time researching but shoppers are on a mission to find the best price.
More often than not, search engines serve as the shopping point-of-origin when researching product. Customer reviews continue to pull the most weight on buying behavior as users value the opinions of real life users. In the same respect, a growing trend is emerging taking customer reviews to the next level with social reviews from friends and family users trust. While the percentage of social impact on buying behavior is currently only 13%, we have seen this number rise since last year and predict a further increase in the years to come.
Despite the low results for Facebook and Twitter’s impact on buying behavior, shoppers still rely heavily on user-generated or peer-based content including product reviews and ratings as demonstrated through customer reviews and Q&As. This shows business owners the importance of having community involvement built into your eCommerce website where users can share their opinions and enhance each other’s shopping experience.
Ratings and reviews remain the most critical product information desired by shoppers. For this reason Amazon is king in its domain. Their service is the number one site for product reviews and price checking amongst all other eCommerce websites.
So the information within this study has shown us that while social interaction through Facebook and Twitter is on the rise, peer reviews currently still hold the most weight in product reviews and Q&As. This however does not mean that social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter do not hold value. As seen below, a large majority of consumers often socially interact with a brand.
With all this considered it is highly important to offer your customers a social experience when using your eCommerce website. Incorporate convenient and interactive media that gets people talking about your products and your brand. In addition, include a strong social presence that is easy for your customers to find so they can talk about your business. People want to share their purchases and talk about their shopping experience…it is just a matter of time before other consumers start listening more closely.