Price and convenience drives consumers today - report
Shopping online will remain a focus for most UK consumers this year but priorities are shifting towards cost, convenience and choice, according to a new survey.
Some 56% of UK consumers are most likely to shop online in 2022 for leisure or non-essential purchases, research from fulfilment provider PFS found.
But retailers and brands must contend with a range of accelerating consumer demands in order to be rewarded by them. It said how the e-commerce channel is used has altered significantly, with 52% of consumers saying they don’t mind which website they use when buying a trusted brand.
Taking a “pulse check” of the expectations of today’s consumers, free delivery (37%) and competitive/attractive prices (33%) were most important factors influencing their decision to make multiple purchases from the same brand/retailer. In the UK especially, shoppers are more driven by cost than brand loyalty (31%).
Even when it comes to sustainability, the desire to get the best price above all else was highlighted by 63% of shoppers.
Meanwhile, free returns (23%) and good customer service (22%) were also key factors influencing last year’s purchasing decisions for multiple purchases from the same brand/retailer for non-essential or leisure items – with 80% reporting convenience also to be important.
For the brands able to accommodate this across both online and offline channels, their efforts were recognised with 54% agreeing retailers are getting better at creating a seamless look and feel across channels, driving brand loyalty among shoppers.
When looking at achieving the ideal online shopping experience in 2022, free delivery/shipping was reported as the ultimate preference for 66% of shoppers surveyed. In fact, returns will prove to be a key consideration for brands as over half (54%) of consumers prefer to have multiple options to return a product.
However, if retailers don’t get the returns process right, it can be a real turn-off for consumers – with 67% of shoppers admitting that they’re put off a brand entirely if the returns process is too difficult.
On brand loyalty, while 51% of consumers agree that brand experience is often better in-store than online, when brand connections are made, they are stronger online (38% compared to 23% offline/in-store).
This sentiment is echoed by 42% of respondents who agree they receive a more personalised experience online than in brick-and-mortar stores, as they receive benefits such as personalised recommendations, sizing predictions and photo reviews.
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