Online Shoppers Don’t Search or Reach Social Media First [STUDY]

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According to Statista by the end of 2015, it is expected that 1.2 billion people worldwide will buy goods and services online. But, in an era of the internet when online shoppers are bombarded with tens of offers and discounts every day, it’s has become imperative for eStores to track and analyse their shoppers’ activities and align their offerings. Recently PYMNTS.com and Amazon Payments conducted a research on the shopping behaviour of the online customers in the US. The study illustrates the fact that most of the digital shoppers are matured enough and know where they would like to start their shopping journey from.

Nearly two-thirds of the digital shoppers, who participated in the survey, said that they began their online purchase with Amazon, eBay or Etsy because of the wide variety of sellers with various brands available on these marketplaces. However, post-sales customer support and service play an important role in getting the repeat business from customers. Consequently, nearly half of digital buyers already know where to look for a product first. 48% of digital buyers said that they hit their Favourite merchant’s eStore once they are ready to make a purchase.

Think With Google is of the opinion that the customer journey has become more complex these days. And, this is clearly attributed from the findings of the latest study as well. Online shoppers are no more taking a traditional way of buying products online. Gone are the days when prospective buyers used to reach Google or any other eStore, referred by his friends or family.

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But that doesn’t mean that Search and Social Network is dead for e-tailers; Out of every five digital buyers, two reach out to various search engines to start their online shopping journey. However, despite growing influence of online social networks, only 29% online shoppers reach out to a social network first.

Digital resources influence online shoppers to a great extent. Daily deals and offers usually encourage the buyers to buy the brands or the products, which they have never bought before. According to an another study conducted by MarketLive organic search results are the largest single driver to the US e-commerce sites. 60% of the buyers worldwide make use of search engine and finalize on the product and the e-tailer from which they want to purchase.

Sellers’ credibility is a major factor in closing a sale. Six among ten buyers were concerned about the credit-debit fraud activities happening in many e-commerce sites. Therefore, many of the consumers prefer purchasing from the trusted e-tailers like Amazon or eBay.

Social Commerce – the online business generated through social media – is creating a huge impact on the e-commerce industry. The data from Shopify shows that from 37 million social media visits almost 529,000 sales were closed. Among the social media networking, Facebook leads in generating e-commerce business. However, as stated earlier, it is the least popular starting point for the online buyers.

E-Commerce Sales In the US

US is the second largest country by the number of internet users; Little over 301 million users access the internet while 15% of adults in the US don’t use the Internet. According to the latest data released by Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, eCommerce sales in the US shot up 14.1% to US$83.9 billion in the second quarter compared to the same quarter in 2014. This accounts to 7.2% of the total retail sales in Q2 2015, which is just 1% point increase compared to the second quarter of 2014.

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This is a clear indication that the eCommerce market is the US is slowing down and eTailers needs to focus more on retaining their existing customers for repeat business. Winning their confidence, brand building, tracking their buying habits and aligning their product offerings should be the top most priorities for e-tailers in the US.

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