Why do people shop online?
Many consumers have changed their shopping behaviour over the years, even more so now during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more about how digital marketing has had to adapt to the changes caused by the virus in one of our earlier blogs. Some businesses are going e-commerce due to the number of online shoppers increasing each year. In 2021, the number of digital buyers is expected to be 2.14 billion.
So why do people choose to buy products online? The most common reason is convenience!
Online shopping can be done from anywhere, at any time! You do not need to worry about what time the shop closes because you are able to place an online order at a time that is convenient for you.
Some of the other reasons consumers choose to shop online:
- More stock availability – Consumers are more likely to get the item they are looking for online. Sometimes stores only have limited product variety.
- Better prices – Generally, online shops sell less variety than a store would so they are able to provide consumers with better prices.
- Comparison shopping – Most consumers prefer to shop around for better prices and buying online is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
- Check reviews – Many online buyers rely on others’ experiences before making their purchasing decision. With online stores, consumers are able to do a little bit of homework by checking reviews made by previous shoppers before purchasing from them.
- Save time – No driving around from shop to shop or standing in long queues at checkout is required with online shopping. And, the items are delivered straight to your door, bonus!
What stops someone from making an online purchase?
Now that we know what encourages consumers to buy products online, let’s look at a couple of aspects that could influence consumers purchasing decisions:
- Delivery costs and hidden fees – This is a big one for many consumers. They would rather drive to the shops to purchase an item than pay a delivery charge. Many online shops offer free delivery over a certain amount which works out for consumers making larger purchases. It is extremely important to make your delivery costs very clear on your website to avoid customers leaving due to hidden fees.
- Trust – Consumers are more likely to buy something online if they feel that they can trust you. Good customer reviews are very important to consumers who are trying to make a decision on whether or not to purchase something off your online store. Consumers also need to know that their payment details will be secure so be sure to display trust badges at checkout. Having a physical location and contact details mentioned on your website also instills trust with your consumers.
- A website that is not user friendly – Many online shops lose potential customers due to their website not being user friendly. The online shopping experience and checkout should be easy to navigate or else you risk losing them as a consumer. Also, with mobile marketing on the rise, make sure your e-commerce website is mobile-friendly too.
- Not sure about quality – Not knowing the quality of what they are purchasing is extremely daunting to a customer. Make sure that the images of your products on your online shop are a good representation of what the consumer will receive.
How to advertise your e-commerce website
Once you have set up your beautiful e-commerce website, you need to advertise your products. This is called e-commerce advertising. There are many marketing tools available to help businesses market their online stores but it is imperative that you are using the correct strategy for your business, as well as targeting these ads to the right audience. Like anything in digital marketing, the advertising strategies available are not a one size fits all. It is a good idea to pick 2 channels and allocate a small budget to each while you are in the testing phase.
Channels that can be used to advertising your online business are:
- Google Ads Shopping Ads: These ads will pop up on Google showing a product image, price, and merchant name. This form of advertising uses product types instead of keywords.
- Facebook Product Ads: Facebook allows you to advertise a single product or a set of 3 in the form of a carousel. Each product will have its own image, description and click-through destination.
- Instagram Shopping Ads: Instagram lets you create product listings to sell online. You are able to tag products in photos, videos, and stories making it easier for people to discover and engage with your products.
- Email Marketing: This type of marketing approach can be used for customers that abandon their cart or simply someone who has agreed to receive promotional information about your products via email.
- Retargeting: This process involves following previous visitors to your website on other platforms such and Facebook and Instagram. Retargeting is one of the most effective ways to maximize traffic to your website that is more likely to convert.
To eCommerce or not to eCommerce?
It’s true that online shopping is not required for all businesses. As long as the product you are selling is something that can be purchased online, then eCommerce is definitely the way to go. It is an ever-growing digital marketing platform that people are learning to trust more and more over the years. Just be sure to build your online shop in such a way that it is easy to navigate and includes all the necessary elements to make it trustworthy to customers.
Next week we will go into a little more detail on the different options available for selling your products online.