All human survey sounds the alarm for Google with over half of consumers purchasing a product or service from a social platform

New research commissioned by All human, the award-winning end-to-end digital growth agency, has revealed how social commerce is growing, the biggest consumer online shopping gripes and that consumers value transparency and clarity around online shopping.

Capturing the mood and behaviour of online shoppers, the research revealed that COVID hastened the shift of Irish consumers, with two-thirds of consumers (65%) currently making more online purchases than before the pandemic with 9 in 10 of those shoppers responding they expect to continue this behaviour.

Speaking on the All human Digital Pulse 2022 report, John Mitchell, Chief Executive of All human said, “To ensure retailers stay on top of the trends in the post-pandemic world, they must have an effective online business strategy in order to effectively sell their products online to their target audience. From the data we collected, a picture is emerging of a new paradigm where the shopping experience is transforming into a social and collaborative transaction.

“One where consumers look to their social channels, their friends, and family for information and inspiration. We are seeing a dramatic shift away from Google and traditional search engine behaviour. This should sound alarm bells for those brands not actively promoting themselves on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. While currently, these platforms attract a younger audience, these are the consumers who will dictate brand relevance in the coming years.”

The full All human Digital Pulse 2022 report can be found here and a summary of notable findings can be seen below.

A Frictionless Online Shopping Experience

According to survey results, the most important considerations when making a purchase are pricing (57%), return convenience (11%), next-day delivery guarantee (10%), and online customer care (8%). Digital consumers are looking for a convenient, seamless, personalised brand interaction.

From the data, business owners should be considering offering next-day delivery services or providing other incentives such as free delivery over a certain price and stating upfront an estimate of shipping times. The good news is that, overall, 63% of consumers are satisfied with the current level of customer service provided when purchasing online.

The majority of consumers (67%) are conducting online shopping via mobile phone. Merchants should be prioritising making their online stores mobile compatible or face losing sales. This is especially the case if a retailer’s target market is women, with over three-quarters of women (77%) using a mobile to shop.

The biggest frustrations with online shopping

Findings from the survey revealed the top five biggest online shopping frustrations for Irish consumers in order are

Pop-ups (33%)

Sites with unclear customer charges e.g. pricing, taxation or shipping (33%)

Unclear returns process (30%)

Vague Delivery/fulfilment timelines (27%)

Poor mobile experience (15%)

Another prominent gripe was no option to check out as a guest.

Today’s online shopper values choice when it comes to how they will pay. Brands that limit payment options face unhappy customers and cart abandonment. The top 3 methods of payment were: PayPal (30%), Debit Card (26%) and Revolut (16%).

Identifying the pain points is important for companies to understand customers and their sources of frustration so that they can adapt their processes to user preferences with as much clarity as possible. Making sure that eCommerce services meet the needs and desires of website visitors is an important step on the path toward a better user experience in online stores.

The online shopper is always right

Despite general satisfaction with the level of online customer service, there is ample opportunity for brands to examine how they are providing online shoppers with optimal assistance.

Thanks in huge part to Amazon and Netflix, we are all familiar with the concept of personalisation. 71% of respondents say they make additional purchases based on recommendations or promotions. This increases to 76% in the case of 16 to 24-year-olds.

63% of consumers are satisfied with the current level of customer service provided when purchasing online, but only 14% are very happy.

Do you review?

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers have left a review of a product/service that they had purchased online. Most consumers will leave a review via the site on which it was purchased as well as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

Before making an online purchase or subscription, 94% of consumers will read content such as reviews.

Do we think green when buying online?

There is a growing importance of sustainability as a purchasing factor with over half of consumers (58%) stating they consider the environmental, sustainability and ethical impact of shipping when making a purchase online with over three-quarters of this cohort researching where the item is being shipped from (78%).

Over half of respondents (56%) claim to consider a brand’s social activism and philosophy before making a purchase, with 41% conducting their own research while others rely on the brand’s website and social media platforms.

The Rise of Social Shopping

Social media is used for multiple processes in people’s online shopping journeys from research to reviews and purchases. While Google’s dominance on the web is unlikely to end anytime soon, it’s time to recognize there are some new kids on the block.

The survey results showed Google Search is still the most used resource to find new products with nearly half of online shoppers (47%) using the search engine. However, there are other avenues on the rise for product discovery:

Instagram 42%

Family/friend referral 41%

Word of mouth 36%

TikTok 32%

Brand familiarity 24%

47% of those aged 16-24 have considered becoming an influencer. This cohort is the most active on social media and has great exposure to such influencers. Of all those surveyed, 35% said they would act as a champion or spokesperson for a brand’s products or services.

Over half of respondents (57%) have bought a product or service from a social platform, again with women taking the lead compared to men (62% Female vs 51% Male).

The trend continues to rise with two-thirds of shoppers (67%) aged between 16-24 having bought a product from a social platform.

The top 5 social media platforms for online purchases in order are:

Instagram

Facebook

TikTok

YouTube

Twitter

While Google is still very much a go-to source, to ignore Instagram and TikTok is a huge mistake. These platforms present a big opportunity for brands to seize on given their potential for developing and building a new customer base.

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