Behaviours of the Online Shopper

11 January 2016
Behaviours of the Online Shopper

It is no surprise that people are shopping online more now than ever before. What might surprise you however, is the behaviours and habits of the online shopper.

Be quick!

I don’t know about you, but when I am out shopping I can spend hours wandering around exploring what a store has to offer before finding myself confused at where all that time has gone. If you are like me then it may shock you that when it comes to online shoppers, this is rarely the case.

On average people spend under 2 minutes exploring a website, that really doesn’t seem long at all. Don’t panic! If you think about the customers who are just looking on your website for quick information, such as opening hours or your location then they will only visit your site for a few seconds, so it makes sense. For that reason, it is a good idea to make sure your website is easy to navigate around, so people can quickly find what they are looking for and don’t give up to look elsewhere. You will also want to ensure any information you think is important for people to see, such as if you have a sale or an event on, can quickly and easily be found.

Making a purchase isn’t one dimensional

Once upon a time, customers would walk into a store, find something they want to purchase and buy it in the store, sounds simple doesn’t it? Nowadays there’s the option to not only buy in store but to shop via desktop, mobile, tablet, over the phone and you can even pay using your watch. If that doesn’t sound complicated enough, then most purchases are no longer made using just one channel. Below is an example of a customer journey and how it could cross multiple channels:

  • You might be waiting at the bus stop and spot a billboard for a bag you want to purchase, so you pull out your phone and scan the QR code, which takes you to their mobile website.
  • You aren’t quite ready to purchase this yet, as you are busy, so you add it to your wish list.
  • You get home at the end of the day and relax in front of the TV having a browse on your tablet and receive an email reminding you that you have an item in your wish list. Unsure of whether you can justify spending the money on another bag you close the email and carry on browsing.
  • The next day, you sit at your desk at work and have another browse on your lunch break. Whilst on another website you notice a banner appear for the bag you were looking at and decide you can no longer resist it.
  • You pick up your phone check for where your closest store is and when they are open until then call them to put the bag on hold for you.
  • After work you head to the store where you purchase your new bag.

As you can see there can be a lot of steps and devices involved in making a decision to purchase something, even when the transaction is ultimatley made in store. Therefore, it is important to consider these different methods and to understand that they can all be important for your business.