Weekly Stories

The Four Bases of Online Shopping

Posted by Anna Abrell on Jul 16, 2014 4:46:10 PM

No one shops completely offline anymore. Even if you don’t buy online, the choices you make are affected by information that is available via online channels. A recent report from Custora took a look at how we prefer to go about online shopping. We pulled out some of their most interesting omnichannel findings:

We’re not social: People aren’t interested in ‘shopping with friends’ (at least not virtually!): social media drives the fewest conversions - by far. This is true for sales generated on desktops, tablets and mobile phones alike. We don’t visit Facebook to shop, just like we wouldn’t want a generic department store café to be the venue for our birthday party.

We won’t cross-device with everyone: Many of the survey interviewees admitted that they don’t like making first purchases via tablets or mobile - apparently, the majority of us are only comfortable shopping via these two channels if we are purchasing via brands or retailers that we have used before (and feel we can trust). It seems that desktops act as a ‘first base’ for subsequent shopping via other channels.

We take ‘risks’ on a whim: Mobiles generate much lower conversion rates than desktops or tablets do - even though mobile browsing has experienced a substantial increase over the past two years. The average order value of orders placed via mobile phones is also much lower than that of tablets and desktops. People are still getting acquainted with the idea of purchasing through small screens; we browse eagerly while on the move, but making purchases via our phones often feels risky or unintuitive.
It therefore seems somewhat illogical that email marketing is the second-largest driver of mobile conversions. In fact, people purchase via email click-through on their mobile more than they do on their tablets or desktops - impulse shopping at it’s best, despite our reluctance to shop via mobile!

Perhaps there’s a sequence to it:

1. We enter into a relationship with a retailer or brand by stepping on the first base, the desktop.

2. If we like what we get, we may sign up to their online communications and visit their site directly to shop. We may even decide to go further and make a purchase from our tablet.

3. When we are in a trusting relationship with the brand or retailer, we may just go to third base and buy one of their products on impulse, on-the-go on our mobiles, or when enticed by their email marketing.

3. If all goes well, we’ll continue to use different channels and hence become cross-device customers. According to the Custora report, the average customer lifetime value of cross-device shoppers is much higher than that of individuals who shop via just one channel. Homerun for the retailer!

So it seems that the winners are those who cultivate the relationship with their shoppers to such an extent that they turn them into cross-channel shoppers. The only obstacle is finding out who these shoppers are and collecting data about them - join us in Milan for more on ominchannel retail.

Reported by Anna Abrell

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Topics: mobile, omnichannel, Cross-device shopping, Custora, Weekly Stories, mcommerce, Email Marketing, ecommerce, Online Shopping, Retailing

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