The current situation made it dire for businesses to reach customers via the online platform. Even small companies and traditional brick-and-mortar stores took their business to the internet. Recently, a study on consumer behavior towards online shopping showed that consumers’ actions and their buying patterns underwent tremendous changes. The likeness of online shopping has indeed gone up, but it is not the only change that a business should notice.
Factors of Buying Behavior
Before March 2020, online shopping habits showed more importance to the product’s quality, brand, and price. The pandemic and the lock down made several products unavailable to the public, and they started to give more importance to availability. 49% of the responders to a study on consumer behavior towards online shopping mentioned that they favor products that are available with no regard for the brand or price. In the past year, 48% of the consumers prioritized quality, and 47% gave importance to price. In 2020, 36% of the responders mentioned that they put the price as the main priority, and 34% chose quality. The brand name became the least priority.
Thus, new brands find it the right time to market their quality products, which would otherwise get masked by the over-famous branded ones. The online shopping habits among students are still price-oriented.
The crazy for international products is going down because of the new factors influencing online shopping behavior. People believe that food packages that travel from across the world tend to have more preservatives in it. Moreover, the current economic situation also pushes people to focus on buying cheaper yet quality products that are available. Personal health is one of the top priorities for the people today, and they believe that buying food from the locals will be a healthier option. The same goes for cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and other staples.
A New Genre of Purchases
An online consumer shopping habits and behavior study by Accenture shows that 55% of the people are prioritizing DIY, entertainment, and learning items. People are staying indoor for longer than they prefer to, and they are trying to spend time with their families by adopting new hobbies. This style of purchase increased the demand for subscription-style entertainment, recreation, or book services. Moreover, working from home is the new normalcy now, and people are buying essentials required for virtual workspace.
The Influence of Social Media
Social media was a platform for advertisement in the past to influence online shopping habits among students. Today, it remains as the platform for all types of consumer influencing. Numerous people who walk into a store tend to check prices in their smartphones to compare or learn about the product’s specifications. 77% of responders in an online consumer shopping habits and behavior study mentioned that they check Facebook before purchasing a product. 26% of the consumers go to Twitter, 18% to Pinterest, and so on.
Baby Boomers’ Entry
Millennial shopping habits are quite different than the other generations. Thus, the new entry of older generations is pushing brands to recreate themselves to be more inclusive. While the millennials had a craze for online shopping, Generation X and Baby Boomers stayed away as much as possible. They cited numerous reasons like lack of tangible exposure, fear of online scams, resistance to learning new technology, etc. However, the current situation pulled Generation X and Baby Boomers into the game. Generation X spends more time into research before buying a product, unlike millennial shopping habits . Baby boomers have much better disposable income than the other generation, and they are ready to spend. A study on online shopping habits of baby boomers shows that on average, a baby boomer spends $203 while buying online. It is much higher than the average of a millennial or Generation X buyer.
Looking for Information
Among the factors influencing online shopping behavior, influencers are becoming a vital one. People are constantly looking for information and recommendations for a product. They prefer to choose products for which they can find in-depth information. Their queries are also becoming more complex. A few years ago, a customer buying a camera just looked for warranty, brand name, zoom level, and list of available features. Now, the consumer behavior in online shopping gives importance to the megapixel count, startup time, manual focus, shutter lag, storage, compatibility, modes of shooting, ISO level, etc.
A study on consumer buying behavior online shopping showed that one in five customers who shop online in 2020 is shopping for the first time. Thus, online stores should be more flexible and information-rich for those users. A simple direction of how to add items to the cart would go a long way in creating loyal customers.
Consumer behavior in online shopping is becoming more favorable for D2C business models. Under the D2C model, the product reaches from the manufacturer to the customers directly. The reduction of intermediaries will reduce the time taken for the product to get to the customers. Today, this trend, along with crazy for buying local, is driving small brands up to compete with large players.
In the past, men’s online shopping habits have more impulse patterns. Although men are more likely to research more about a product before buying than women, they are also more prone to impulse purchases. According to McKinsey‘s study in July 2020 on the consumer sentiment, the results show a more conscious buying pattern rather than impulse behavior. Researchers credit this change to unstable economic factors. This trend is also common in countries with strong economies. Moreover, the amount spent on luxury and status products is getting lower because of the new habit of online shopping.
According to a study, 77% of the respondents mentioned they are ready to buy a product from a brand that gives back to society. Thus, brands that provide more value to the environment, employees, ethical factors, and societal developments are getting more attention. According to researchers, people always look for superheroes to help them during trying times. The current situation is driving people to search for such heroes amongst them. Any brand, which is ready to offer a helping hand, would make the cut. Such a CSR display would alter the customer’s habit of online shopping.
Why is it important to know about the consumer buying behavior of online shopping? Businesses need to adapt to new needs. For instance, baby boomers’ entry shows that the inventory should include products of their choice, and websites should have a larger font and bigger buttons.