Retail

Consumers Are Increasingly Researching Purchases Online

Online Shopping To Peak At 20 Percent Of Retail Sales Predicts Unibail CEO

It appears that 2017 was a good year for omnichannel shopping, particularly according to the eCommerce Foundation’s recently released “United States Ecommerce Country Report” that covered eCommerce data from the last year.

That data strongly indicates 88 percent of consumer pre-research their buys online before making a purchase either online or in-store. The same information set indicated 72 percent of consumers had planned to shop specifically on Amazon during the holiday season, while only 60 percent planned to set foot in a physical, brick-and-mortar establishment. In-store pick up is also becoming an increasingly favored method of conducting commerce, the report found, with 68 percent of consumers noting they were satisfied with their experiences when ordering what they needed online and then picking those purchases up in-store.

As has been the case in the past, the typical online shopper breaks down into some fairly expected demographic categories. The majority of online shoppers today appear to be between 18 and 34 years old.

Mobile shopping from a mobile device is becoming more prevalent, too, but using a laptop or desktop is still ranked as the superior online shopping experience. Browsing remains more popular on mobile, though, and mobile devices are also more popular for buying specific items rather than simply browsing around at the end of a discovery process.

According to D.J. Murphy, editor in chief of news source Card Not Present, eCommerce merchants without a mobile strategy are at risk of falling behind. He also reported that eCommerce companies are raising consumer expectations regarding shipping, delivery and online shopping experience, making the space more competitive.

The online shopping experience at eCommerce merchants is not perfect, though. Consumers still lodge lots of complaints about the mobile experience, with more than two-thirds of them reporting severe frictions mucking up the overall process. Specifically, 36 percent of online shoppers find the checkout process to be frustrating, particularly regarding filling out required data fields. Unexpected shipping charges were also a leading cause of bringing online sales processes to halt.

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