More Than Two-Thirds of Us Head Online The Minute They Want to Buy Something

The world of retail underwent a period of radical transformation in 2020. With high streets and physical shopping centres across the world forced to close in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, shoppers were forced to head online to find their retail therapy.

A new survey from Feefo sheds new light on the scope of the change. An incredible 70% of the 2,000 UK shoppers questioned indicated that, when they decide that they want to buy something, they go straight to the internet. Of these, 79% head straight onto either Google or Amazon – the former attracts 41% of web shoppers, while the latter attracts 38%.

It’s Amazon’s success as an initial port-of-call that strikes Feefo’s Head of Digital, Richard Tank, as noteworthy. ‘While Google’s online monopoly on the web has long been documented, it’s clear that Amazon is now just as prominent as the search engine, even though it’s technically an online retailer,’ he says. ‘It’s important to recognise that while consumers may start their search on these websites, they often end up buying from somewhere else. Today’s digital landscape is ever-changing and businesses have to meet the needs of their customers across the whole purchase journey in order to maintain sales and brand loyalty. The findings of this survey emphasise that.’

Among the other findings of the survey was the fact that customers are more likely than ever to switch to a different business in the event a single poor experience. 30% claimed that they would jump ship after just one bad experience. Moreover, 79% of online shoppers claimed to have abandoned a shopping cart. Of these, 63% blamed an unexpectedly high shipping cost as a reason for a ‘bounce’. This reflects a long-observed phenomenon – when customers feel as though they haven’t been given an accurate impression of the deal prior to its conclusion, they end up feeling as though they’re about to be burned. This is enough to spook a significant majority of us out of sealing the deal.

In a physical retail environment, customers are more likely to follow a given purchase through to its completion. If you’ve walked into a brick-and-mortar shop with the intention of buying something, then the chances are that you’ll buy it – if not, then the trip will have been a wasted one, and you’ll have to expend time and energy in visiting a different location.

In eCommerce, this time cost has been all but eliminated, and customers thus have the power to shop around. According to Tank: ‘brands small and large must do everything they can to build relationships with their customers, to ensure they keep coming back for more. Listening, learning and developing more personalised customer experiences is key to long term success. Technology as an enabler, must be fully utilised in order for online businesses to achieve this.’

To see all the results from this survey check out the infographic below:

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