Purchasing products online is now an overwhelmingly common consumer activity, with close to 80 percent of American consumers over the age of 15 making online purchases. This presents both an opportunity and a potential danger for brands.
BrandShop, a provider of branded digital commerce solutions, conducted a survey of consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 at all income levels and throughout the U.S. to determine some of the habits of online shoppers. The survey results revealed the following:
"1. Consumers are looking to transact, not only engage with a brand.
Engaging with a consumer online is simply not enough in this ultra-competitive market. With the rise of third party e-tailers, transactions occur anywhere, anytime. Brands must empower their customers with the ability to transact directly on its digital channels. Giving consumers what they desire will allow brands to expand their market share while providing consumers with an authentic, branded experience."
"2. Consumers prefer to buy directly from a brand's digital channel.
While most purchases take place over third party channels, it is now understood that consumers prefer to buy directly from a brand if given the option. The confidence and authenticity a consumer experiences from transacting directly with a brand is not something easily replicated by third parties."
"3. The amount and quality of information available to consumers is essential.
During the consumer shopping cycle, the most essential step is research. Brand content and relevant information give consumers the confidence to purchase right then and there, without having to leave the site to complete the transaction elsewhere."
"4. There is a huge gap between consumer expectations and the current reality.
Consumer expectations are not being met by brands. There is only a short list of brands that enable direct transaction through owned digital channels. Huge opportunity awaits the brands that are willing to unlock their digital potential through active engagement, content, information, transaction and fulfillment."