Study: Trust is king – How, when and where consumers buy online

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Fair enough, it is only a US-based insight among some 2,000 online and mobile shoppers in July 2015. However, the message could be taken to any other market I guess these days…

The main factor for consumers to make a purchase decision, is trust. This is the finding from Amazon which conducted a study with Pymnts.com in order to understand, where consumers start their buying journey, why consumers buy from one site and leave the other one without making any purchase. Furthermore, the study states that price or ease of delivery are not the main features driving purchase decisions.

The US consumer needs trust in a site (23%) so that they purchase from some retailer. Oterh features that came in th next places were tailored promotions or rewards (16%), a good experience in the past (14%) or products being available in an acceptable time frame (13%).

Interestingly enough, other tactics like good shipping considerations (11%), preferred method of payment (8%), ease of use (6%), a site that recognizes me (4%), being a preferred customer (3%), being able to check out as a guest (1%) and store billing and shipping info (1%) came in much later in the ranking.

Pymnts 2015 - Why they buy

„You need a strategy that is about more than being present,“ he said. „You need a strategy that is about being present where your customers are because if you are not, then you are not being customer centric. There’s no such thing as a relationship without trust.“ (Patrick Gauthier, VP, Amazon Payments)

So, where does the consumer journey start? The study also found that almost every second out of three respondents (64%) start by searching for a product on a marketplace, followed by their favourite brand websites (48%), search engines (40%) and social media (29%).

Pymnts 2015 - Where they buy

„The ultimate digital destinations are driven by trust – trust that the sites have what they want to buy, trust that they will be given a fair price, trust that their goods will be delivered to them in a time frame that is relevant.“ Karen Webster, CEO, MPD

Just check your own habits and experience. What would you say makes you buy something from an online shop? We look forward to your comments…

Six Common Ecommerce SEO Mistakes

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Search PlayerIncorporating a strong SEO strategy into the design of an ecommerce website can greatly improve its chances of success. For an online shop to succeed, customers must be able to easily find it using a search engine. Whether you’re using an expensive SEO consultant or simply relying on a subscription ecommerce platform, you’ll want to take heed of the following common mistakes made by ecommerce websites.

1. Not Including Product Descriptions
High quality photos are essential for ecommerce websites, but if there is no accompanying description the product stands a low chance of being picked up by search engines. Be sure to add descriptions to each product in order to help give each product page an SEO boost. In addition to the description itself, the navigation, text, sidebar, and footer all count towards the final word count. With unique, descriptive content you can help market your wares while becoming more visible by the search engines.

2. Duplicating Product Descriptions
One common mistake that ecommerce sites make is copying the manufacturer’s product description word-for-word, usually in an attempt to avoid making mistake #1. While this will give you an accurate product description, it can work against you in the end. If your site uses the same manufacturer description, there’s a high chance that other rivals are doing the same. This creates the problem of duplicate content. Either rewrite the description, or add your own editorial underneath it. The same rule goes for listing your products on 3rd party sites such as Amazon or eBay. If you use the same content that appears on your website, you’ll run into the problem of duplicate content.

3. Lack of Related Content
Product descriptions are a mainstay of any ecommerce website, but they are not the only facet of ecommerce SEO to pay attention to. Many buyers are interested in finding out more about your products and company. Include information about your business’s history, along with shipping and return policies. Keeping a business blog is an easy way to rejuvenate your site with fresh content, as is opening up the site to customer reviews.

4. Using Non-Targeted URLs
You may have beautifully written unique content on your ecommerce site, but what about your URLs? If these are a jumble of letters and numbers it can not only be confusing for visitors, but it misses out on a chance to incorporate keywords into a clean, descriptive URL.

5. Not Targeting Content to Keywords
As you work on revising your content, it’s helpful to keep the keywords that your customers are typing into search engines in mind. These can be easily followed using analytics tools and are important for promoting the right terms for your audience. Keywords and search terms can also be incorporated into your off page SEO strategy. When you create content that links back to your main website, if it includes these same keywords it will draw in the type of readers who would be interested in your shop.

6. Not Using Robots.txt
Using the robots.txt file gives ecommerce website owners a way to give instructions to search engine spiders. This helps you make sure that you have control over which pages you wish to be indexed and which you don’t. For example, you can use robots.txt to block areas of the website with duplicate content, such as tags or archives. Not using this can hinder your SEO presence.

By avoiding these six common mistakes, you can improve your ecommerce website’s chances of standing out from the crowd online.

Mobile & Responsive Design: Hype or Hope? (Infographic)

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It is a dream for many people responsible in the developer field: Creating a mobile app once, without the need to amend it for any screen, any device or any audience. Responsive web design is said to be able to deliver just that – one size design fits all kind of a thing. But is it really true?

In days where more than 20% of all web traffic is generated via leading e-commerce websites coming from mobile devices, responsive web design is becoming an alternative many developers are thinking about. Not surprising, right?! The unique screen resolutions has been growing from 97 in 2010 to 232 in 2013. For those retailers that wanted to rise the number of online shoppers alongside with the growth of screens coming via not desktop resolutions, responsive design became a new and attractive option.

For the marketing and web optimization guys from Monetate, it seems there is only one real alternative if companies don’t believe in their customers to download their mobile app: responsive web design. Still, mobile shopping is not a hype anymore, it has become the real revenue driver in e-commerce. There is an expected $38.8 billion spend on smartphones and tablets according to eMarketer in America in 2013 which is forecasted to grow up to $108.6 billion by 2017.

However, brands might argue that the development is not cheap at all. If you see another alternative or have the proof that responsive design is not the only alternative, let us know…

Responsive-Web-Design-Infographic

Web transactions? PayPal handles 60% – Google comes in 5th position

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When it comes to web transactions, PayPal is leading the bunch with 60% according to a recent study by New Relic. Still, the study shows that Google offers the fastest payment gateway. The slowest transaction happened to some Australian payment gateway, called Eway.com.au. One of the payments took 92.44 seconds to complete. Datacash and USAepay.com were not far behind with 89 and 56 seconds.

The payment gateway is the web equivalent of a modern cash register. This system double-checks whether it is really the person that pays the transaction and that you are the trusted authority to pay for the purchase to be finished. The study of the web’s most popular payment gateways monitored 38 billion transactions daily for big companies like Nike, Groupon, and Zynga. The study focused on transactions by 21,000 web applications.

The study finds PayPal the winner as it is the biggest payment processor on the web these days. Well, let’s say according to this study sample. In this test period, PayPal processed over 66,000 payments – over three times as many as their closest competitor which was Authorize.net with usaebay.com and stripe.com following. Google Checkout only came in at position five with over 3400 payments.

Although Google does not win in numbers, they win in speed. Google Checkout’s average payment processing time came in at fantastic .26 seconds. Just imagine that this system finds in less than a third of a second, data to „collect and transfer your payment information – name, address, card number, purchase details, etc. – to the financial institution,“ says John Essex, Marketing Director at New Relic. And we have to bear in mind that there is also some other stuff to be verified like your data via Mastercard or VISA to evaluate your credit risk, and play it back to the website’s e-commerce platform, and so on.

In this speed category PayPal’s performance was kind of „middle brilliant“ as it performed with an average of under one and a half seconds. An Australian payment gateway, Eway.com.au, showed the poorest performance with one payment taking an incredible 92.44 seconds to complete. The average performance at these payment services ranged somewhere between 3-4 seconds.

Spot On!
In the e-commerce business, speed is business-critical for all web transactions. In these web transaction performance topics time is money. The online shopping experience needs to work as quickly, smoothly and trouble-free for the web consumer. We all know how cancel the transaction when we have to wait to long for the transaction to be completed. The lag in transaction time is the killer of the digital shopping experience. Probably, as we do not see a person handling the transaction, having problems with the cash register or cash machine.

Would you agree with the findings in their infographic?

Study shows that consumers are frustrated with online paying

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Harald Wanetschka / pixelio.de

How often do we stop our online purchasing process? How often do we not pay what is chosen to be in the basket? And how often do we leave an online shop frustrated?

In a recent study by Mastercard Worldwide conducted by Harris Interactive we acknowledge how consumers are feelings about online commerce, as well as their habits on mobile shopping. According to the report, U.S. consumers replied that one of their biggest issues is „entering payment, billing and shipping information.“

It is not surprising to anyone probably that the only other issue more annoying to online buyers is knowing still one that has not changed in 15 years: People would like to know how a product feels, fits or looks.

„Online and mobile shopping puts a host of new options at consumers‘ fingertips, but the current checkout process needs improvement to fully realize the potential of these important retail channels,” Geoff Iddison, Group Executive E-Commerce and Mobile, MasterCard Worldwide

According to Iddison the study also shows that consumers want a simpler, faster way to enter account information and less time filling out forms.

The funny thing for me is that the world still wants something that does not exist (and which I have thought about inventing in the online advertising world, too): a trusted source that handles safely personal information in one place.

58% of online shoppers said they would like that easy access to information in order to simplify their online check-out experience across the Internet. Apart from that almost one out of four respondents replied they had abandoned a shopping cart before completing their online or mobile purchase. 

On the MasterCard company blog, Brian Gendron -a company spokesman- said the poll shows consumers want a simpler online payment experience. He mentions…

„Consumers still find that a lengthy checkout experience can cause frustrations, which can sometimes mean lost business for merchants when consumers fail to click ‚confirm purchase. Consumers want a simple and fast process to complete their online transactions so they can spend more time finding the exact products that they want.“

So, how about you and your online purchasing experiences? Would you say the study is correct in their findings?

Why retailers need to focus business on tablet users

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It is kind of an open secret that tablets make you spend more money than you want. Some new infographic by Milo gives the proof, and it makes clear that tablet users are often more willing to spend more than shoppers using their desktop device or their mobile phones. The infographic relies on data from insights by eMarketer, comScore and Adobe. It states that by 2014 one in three US internet users (approximately 89.5 million) will have access to a tablet.

Obviously, young internet users are even more open to tablets and willing to use them for online spending. Already today, 79% of 18-34 year olds now using their tablet to go on online shopping trips. In the category of the 35-54 year olds this makes up 50%, and 43% for those 55 years old or older.

Although the laptop is still the online shopping device, the tablet wins against all the other mobile devices fur online commerce across all groups. However, tablet users are willing to spend more than mobile and desktop shoppers according to the data sheet. What is even more interesting for retailers, tablet users are more willing to make a quick emotional purchase than smartphone shoppers.

The average tablet user spent $123 in terms of visitors by average order value on online goods. Desktop and smartphone buyers in comparison spent $102 or $80. What is also interesting to see is that 31% of tablet users do price comparisons on their tablet before spending money in offline stores.

How about you? Have you experienced some similar tablet spending attitude for yourself, or your family?

Community Shopping on the street – NET-A-PORTER.COM’s Window Shop

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Augmented Reality shopping is definitely a new trend these days. NET-A-PORTER have launched their Augmented Reality Shopping Windows in different capitals around the world like Sidney, Munich, London, Paris and New York.

The following video demo comes from late last year’s Fashion Night Out celebrations in London and New York. It will be rolled out globally now for the new Karl by Karl Lagerfeld collection. Consumers need to download the NET-A-PORTER iPhone/iPad app, then visit the stores and can use the Augmented Reality like a new shopping experience.

When pointing the iPad camera at the window, this will publish 360 degree product models doing their best on a video catwalk. It also displays product information, the clothes price and obviously the ability to purchase immediately.

Isn’t this a cool idea to offer a 24/7 shopping life? These doors are always open in the future. Well, ok their online shop as well but it is a different kind of shopping experience right…? Community shopping on the street…

THX for sharing!

Sales and Social Media? Feedback is the key!

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We have heard that 1 in 3 of the younger generation will their online shopping via their mobile phones. Now, another study shows the power of recommendations around the holiday season. Mr. Youth did some research among 4.500 shoppers and found how Social Media could become the game changer in Christmas shopping in 2011.

Some key findings… and marketers better listen up now!

– 80% of Social Media users who received feedback did a purchase afterwards
– 66% of Black Friday sales were a result of Social Media interactions
– 52% of Social Media users are willing to pay more for brands they trust
– 36% of Social Media users trust brands that have a Social Media presence

How about you? Are you relying on your friends, fans and followers recommendations this holiday season?

From online to offline with a smile…

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We love living digital. We love being online. We love taking our mobiles with us. Anywhere, anytime, any place. However, sometimes people might make fools of us, out of our new digital reality.

In the summer the English National Opera picked up the social networking habits of Twitter and Facebook and created a great commercial that promoted their latest act, transfering our online attitudes to offline. As we all tend to pretend to be friends these days, we sometimes might loose our focus and just make our world seem to be „friendly“ and „social“.

And friendly does not mean to make shopping online be easy. Many customer where I have been speaking and doing some consulting business, forget to find out and regularly double-check where their customers are „checking out“. A trend that with Google Analytics picked up with a lovely commercial that illustrates how difficult online shopping might be in the real world. Just think about the annoying digital experiences you have had in the last years, and then transfer them into our offline world. That’s what Google has done.

And it was only a loaf of bread he wanted to buy. It made me smile… And you?

Web-Centric users have volatile brand loyalty

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A recent Demandware study „Examining the Changing Consumer“ across North America, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany is finding that 52% of Web-centric consumers are likely to „unfriend“ a brand after a negative online shopping experience. This stands against 38% of traditional consumers that would react in the same manner.

The survey, conducted in early 2011, focused on users accessing the web several times per day for information, from different devices and locations. Web-centric users have higher expectations than those of traditional consumers and wnat to have their brand experience leveraged accordingly.

On positive online shopping experience, web-centric shoppers are more likely to reward retailers with brand loyalty. 67% replied they are willing to share a positive experience on the Social Web amoungst their peers. However, 72% would share a negative experience and 70% even going to their competitor in return.

„The smart consumer represents the new consumer. We believe our research provides valuable insight into the future of commerce. Empowered by greater access to the Web, the new consumer is becoming increasingly agile and sophisticated, and will continue to raise the bar for the way commerce is conducted. Retailers must prepare their businesses now to adapt to this new era of commerce.“ Jamus Driscoll, Vice President Marketing, Demandware

Interesting to see that user trust the web more than other channels when trying to find information. 83% see their smartphone as their most valuable and useful technology for web-access. 69% trust Web data more than information they get from a sales associate in a shop.

Spot On!
The study reminds me of a research that found why Fans unlike brands. Both studies show how unforgiving the web-centric users are. They are sharing a negative experience immediately and start reacting by putting kind of an umbrella over the whole brand experience. The study should alert all marketers and retailers to pay more attention to their digital selling efforts, especially when thinking about user-generated content like reviews. The challenge is to get them be your brand advocates. According to a study of BzzAgent and Roger Williams University brand advocates are 83% more likely to share information about a product than typical web users.

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