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

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?

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?

Studie: Bewertungen treiben Online-Shopping an

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Die aktuelle Studie „netz98 fragt nach – Einfluss sozialer Elemente im E-Commerce auf das Kaufverhalten“ des Marktforschungsunternehmens eResult GmbH im Auftrag der Internetagentur netz98 new media GmbH besagt, daß für fast 50% der Internet-Kunden Bewertungen und Empfehlungen anderer Kunden ein wichtiges Argument sind, überhaupt online einzukaufen. Gegenüber dem traditionellen Shopping biete Online Shopping mit dem Zugriff auf die Meinungen unabhängiger Verbraucher einen klaren Mehrwert.

Bei aller Euphorie sind Bewertungsmöglichkeiten für die meisten User kein zwingendes Element, wenn auch ein wichtiger Baustein eines Online-Shops. 70% sehen es nicht negativ, wenn die Bewertungskriterien in einem Online-Shop fehlen. Man möchte anfügen, das die Gefahr auf ein anderes Portal zu wechseln, wo Bewertungskriterien angegeben werden, dennoch durchaus gegeben ist. Und von dort zum Kauf ist es dann nicht mehr weit… Die Frage wäre also, was ist entscheidender für den finalen Kauf. Die Bewertungen oder das Vertrauen in den Shop?

Die Frage beantwortet sich teilweise mit den Rezensions-Optionen, die für mehr als ein Viertel der Befragten wichtig sind. Diese Nutzer weichen im Zweifel auf andere Online-Angebote aus, die diese Funktionen bieten. Denn: Wenn 45% der Teilnehmer angeben, Produkte oder Dienstleistungen sogar regelmäßig zu kommentieren oder zu bewerten, dann sollten Shopbetreiber dies Ernst nehmen.

Der Sharing Trend ist hingegen verhalten. Nur von etwa 10% werden die Weiterleiten Funktionen wiederholt genutzt. Frauen (13%) nutzen sie mehr als Männer (9%).

„Wir halten es für sehr wichtig, uns auch wissenschaftlich und quantitativ mit dem E-Commerce zu beschäftigen. Viele aktuelle Fragestellungen können eben nur die Nutzer selbst beantworten. Davon profitieren nicht zuletzt unsere eigenen Kunden – denn die Ergebnisse der Studie fließen unmittelbar in unsere tägliche Arbeit ein.“ Tim Hahn, Geschäftsführer, netz98

Spot On!
Interessant ist aber auch ein weiteres Ergebnis. Nahezu 40% der Befragten können sich vorstellen, unmittelbar in einem sozialen Netzwerk über eine Shopping App einzukaufen. Mit einer Einschränkung… Der Shop, bei dem eingekauft wird, muss dem Käufer bekannt und vertraut sein. Wer also eine App baut, sollte bei der Konzeption mit Check-out sowohl vertrauensbildende Maßnahmen (z.B. Gütesiegel) als auch die transparente Darstellung des übergeordneten Shops klar kenntlich machen.

UK: Internet users love browsing social media – less shopping

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A recent study by Hitwise reveales that UK Internet users are spending more time browsing online media than ‚going‘ online shopping. In March 2009 9.8% of all UK Internet visits were directed to social networking websites and 8.6% to online retail websites. Compared to 2008, the figures turned around (online retailers 9.7% – social networks 8.2%).

In the passed year, online retailers sawe a downsize in traffic from paid search like sponsored or paid for links on search engines (i.e. like Google, Yahoo!, Live and Ask) – 2009: 8.9% and 2008: 10,1% of visits to online retailers came from a paid search listing.

“The growth of social networking, online video and the continuing popularity of news websites has meant that an increasing proportion of consumer’s online time in the UK has been devoted to online media,” commented Robin Goad, Hitwise’s Director of Research.

The traffic that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and the likes generates for online retailers increased in one year from 5.2% to 7.1%. And social networks now generate 58.3% more traffic than webmail providers (Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and GoogleMail). The best performing categories in 2009 were Auctions, Fashion and Department Stores.

“Social networks are a relatively small but fast growing source of traffic for online retailers,” commented Goad. “At present, only a minority of retailers pick up a significant amount of traffic from social networks, but many of those that do have seen a positive impact on traffic. For example, fashion retailer ASOS has a strong presence on Facebook and in March received 13.3% of its traffic from the social network. Another example – in a very different market – is online bookseller Abebooks, which currently receives a quarter of all its UK Internet traffic from social networks, more than it gets from search engines.”

Spot On!
Is this showing a trend that people are willing to buy products in social networks? In the UK, it sounds possible. It could be the next step. We all know that the easy purchase process is a winner – for companies and customers. Thinking of the future of social networks, companies should consider engaging with customers much more on social networks while also integrating ‚light‘ e-commerce opportunities in their Facebook Fan pages or in their company profiles at XING. Or at least indicate and lead the way for customers to some good offers or marketing activities. And re-thinking efforts on big spendings for paid search is definitely something that needs to be thought about…

Trusted Shops: 10 Anzeichen für unsichere Online-Shops

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Der Gütesiegelaussteller Trusted Shops hat auf 10 Anzeichen hingewiesen, die Online-Shops tunlichst vermeiden sollten. Vorausgesetzt ihnen ist die Glaubwürdigkeit ihres Shops vor und während des Weihnachtsgeschäftes wichtig…

1. Nebulöse Anbieterkennzeichnung
Sind Angaben zum Verkäufer nur schwer oder gar nicht auffindbar oder enthalten diese unklare Bezeichnungen, ist allerhöchste Vorsicht geboten. Ebenfalls ist Skepsis angebracht, wenn nur eine Firma, aber kein Name, oder nur eine Postfachanschrift genannt wird.

2. Unzulänglicher Datenschutz
Wenn Aussagen zum Datenschutz lückenhaft sind oder fehlen, kann dies ein Hinweis darauf sein, dass der Website-Betreiber Kundendaten weiterverkaufen oder an zweifelhafte Auskunftssysteme übermitteln möchte.

3. Ungenaue Preisangabe
Sämtliche Preise sollten klar wiedergeben, dass die Mehrwertsteuer enthalten ist und welche Versandkosten genau entstehen. Werden die Versandkosten nicht genannt oder ist deren Berechnung unklar, sind böse Überraschungen möglich.

4. Offengehaltene Lieferfrist
Wird die bei einem Produkt genannte Lieferzeit durch eine Aussage im Kleingedruckten relativiert („Lieferfristen sind unverbindlich”), sollte man misstrauisch sein. Schließlich soll ein Geschenk nicht erst nach Weihnachten ankommen. Auch widerspricht dies der Vorgabe der Rechtsprechung, wonach längere Lieferzeiten direkt beim Produkt genannt werden müssen.

5. Unabgesicherte Vorkasse
Eine Zahlung per Vorkasse sollte durch eine Geld-zurück-Garantie von Trusted Shops abgesichert sein. Nur so lässt sich vermeiden, dass man sein Geld verliert, falls der Händler trotz Zahlung nicht liefert – Überweisungen lassen sich nämlich nicht rückgängig machen.

6. Unverschlüsselte Datenübertragung
Zahlungsdaten unverschlüsselt zu übertragen, ist riskant, weil diese abgefangen und missbraucht werden können. Obendrein verstoßen Kunden damit häufig gegen die Bedingungen ihrer Bank. Das Schloss-Symbol im Browser zeigt an, dass die Übertragung verschlüsselt ist.

7. Unzulässige Widerrufsbeschränkung
Bis auf wenige Ausnahmen besteht das Recht, eine Ware innerhalb von zwei Wochen zurückzugeben. Vorsicht ist geboten, wenn ein Händler versucht, dieses Recht einzuschränken, indem er z.B. nur originalverpackte Ware zurücknimmt oder Angebotswaren von der Rückgabe ausschließt.

8. Benachteiligung im Kleingedruckten
Kundenunfreundlich und gesetzlich verboten ist der Versuch mancher Händler, Kunden durch Klauseln in ihren Geschäftsbedingungen unangemessen zu benachteiligen. Unzulässig und unwirksam sind z.B. Aussagen wie „Versand auf Gefahr des Käufers” oder „Transportschäden müssen sofort gemeldet werden”.

9. Schlechte Erreichbarkeit
Eine Produktanfrage im Vorfeld per E-Mail oder Telefonanruf zeigt, wie es um den Kundenservice bestellt ist. Erfolgt keine zügige Antwort bzw. ist nur ein Anrufbeantworter erreichbar, sollte man auch kein vorbildliches Entgegenkommen bei Umtausch- oder Rückgabewünschen erwarten.

10. Negative Bewertung
Bei Händlern, die einem nicht bekannt sind, kann eine kurze Internetrecherche sinnvoll sein. Veilleicht gibt es Negativeinträge in Foren, die zu erhöhter Wachsamkeit mahnen. Ein Gütesiegel wie Trusted Shops garantiert einen risikolosen Online-Einkauf.

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