The online shopping industry has surpassed 2.6 billion digital shoppers in the first half of 2023, with 33% of the globe now considered an online shopper. That said, there is still substantial untapped opportunity within ecommerce, and one of the biggest barriers to online shopping is completely in control of the retailers themselves.
Right now, retailers are selfishly positioning their customer journey to benefit their marketing efforts, not the end consumer. While data sourcing customer information can be a key part of any marketing strategy, it could also be the reason you’re losing revenue. Here’s why.
Ditch the Redirects
The consumer path to purchase has undoubtably changed. Research shows that more than half of online shoppers today are making impulse purchases, yet nearly half (49%) have deliberately not made an impulse purchase simply because they were targeted on one screen and had to switch to another to complete the purchase.
When looking at today’s global ecommerce numbers, that is billions of potential sales dollars lost simply because of one inconvenience to the customer. This tells us that consumers are no longer spending days or even hours considering many of the purchases they make, meaning we have minutes (if that) to capture their attention and convert that attention to a sale.
Redirects and pop-ups are clear culprits in inhibiting a customer’s experience with your brand. In fact, 17% of online shoppers will abandon their cart and not move forward with a purchase if they’re redirected, and one in five said that too many pop-ups from a brand while on their site will cause them to abandon their cart completely.
Other blockers to potential sales include technical issues or discount codes not working (19%) and being forced to create an account with a retailer or brand to continue with the purchase (18%). The consumer attention span in 2023 is eight seconds, a 33% decrease over the last 23 years (from 2000), which goes to show that as a society we’re overstimulated and every second counts to grab someone’s attention. Once that attention is there, the time you have to make a good impression is mere seconds, which means the experience needs to be quick, and your content needs to count.
This is a good place to start when reviewing any customer path to purchase strategy — remove any barriers that take away valuable seconds that could redirect a customer’s attention.
Lean into Consumer Convenience
Today’s consumer isn’t sitting down at a computer and making a concerted effort to shop online. Those folks are few and far between, because now the multitasking shopper is here. When asked what they’re often doing when online shopping, 57% said they are watching TV, 29% are interacting with social media, 17% are working and 20% are using the bathroom.
It should be assumed that most of this is happening via mobile platforms such as online web browsers, retailer or brand apps and even social media platforms such as LiketoKnowIt, Instagram, TikTok and more. Social media shopping is becoming king, and as an active marketplace of sorts for consumers, it’s becoming more successful than most of us would have imagined even 10 years ago. Today retailers have more opportunity than ever to capitalize on “social shopping” by leveraging shoppable assets across owned channels and even creator content.
Lean into Social Shoppable Content
It’s evident what’s not working, so where should retailers look? One area they often seem to push to the side is creating shoppable moments from their existing content, but 64% of consumers are likely to purchase an item they like if they are able to do so directly from a link in a video. And, after seeing a video on social media, one in five said they completed a purchase within 21 to 30 minutes of viewing. Coupled with the 21% who prefer to learn about new products by watching videos on a company’s social media channels, this proves there is untapped potential in leveraging content via social media.
Social commerce, while still a newer concept for many, is expected to reach nearly $3.4 trillion by the end of 2028, which is around the corner in ecommerce. Leveraging technologies that not only support the new era of social shoppable content but create the most opportunity for retailers to succeed will be key in collecting a piece of this sales pie. It’s critical to reevaluate the journey you’re taking your customer on to better understand what their experience with your brand is and to help bring down the barriers to future sales.
Randall Bapst is the CEO of AiBUY, an in-content commerce solution, where he leads through strategic global hiring acquisitions and uses his more than 30 years of experience in growing businesses across industries to propel AiBUY forward. Bapst combines his business acumen with the ability to identify high-growth niches in emerging markets to launch and scale successful companies. His early career includes time in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was a crew chief on the Presidential Helicopter Marine One for Presidents Carter and Reagan. Bapst also attended the MIT business executive school for data analytics.