New Study Reveals Post Pandemic Online Spending Habits

It has been a strange couple of years. However, with some signs that things are starting to get back to normal, now is an excellent time to reflect.

We saw a seismic shift in the way we spend our hard-earned cash. Unable to venture out, many turned to online shopping as a necessity. But others discovered it could be a form of entertainment.

When we’re unable to leave the house, a trip outside to collect the stack of brown Amazon boxes becomes a welcome distraction from, well, everything.

It is predicted that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be made online. To put this into context, in 2019, around 13.6% of sales were online purchases, and today, it’s about 19.5% of all purchases.

So while retail had a tough year in 2020, eCommerce was booming worldwide. According to Shopify, every national market saw double-digit eCommerce growth.

A recent study carried out by Stackla revealed post-pandemic shifts in consumer behaviour. With time spent online at an all-time high, and 72% of individuals reporting spending more time on social media, this is the kind of data that marketers cannot ignore. Read on to discover the key takeaway from this survey and how it should influence your marketing strategy in the months ahead.

Online shopping is here to stay

According to the study, 67% of people reported that their online spending had increased since the start of the pandemic. And 90% also predicted that they would be likely to continue purchasing items online in future. So online shopping is here to stay, so if you’ve yet to make the switch to online selling, now is the time to start thinking seriously about if you can continue on this track.

The explosion of eCommerce has led to a rise in a new kind of entrepreneur. These individuals know they don’t need a warehouse or even a product to make money in eCommerce. So you can guarantee that if you don’t start selling online soon, someone else will swoop in to fill the gap in the market.

Customers want authenticity

When making online purchases, users want to see authenticity from the brands. What does this mean exactly?

88% said that authenticity is essential to them when deciding which brands to support. And 50% said authenticity is crucial to them. Authenticity in eCommerce could be defined as having credibility and integrity.

Consumers want to see that companies are building a movement, which means remaining true to the original goals. If a company is passionate about fair wages for its garment workers one month and then decides to drop this pledge because it’s no longer profitable, this would be a sign of a complete lack of authenticity.

Authenticity doesn’t have to be this intense. It’s just about having a purpose and communicating this purpose with your customers.

A great example of a brand with authenticity is Patagonia. Individuals buy into the company mission statement. Wearing a Patagonia item suddenly becomes a statement about how you use your purchasing power.

UGC drives sales

Once customers recognise you as an authentic brand, they are far more likely to share photos and videos of them using your products. This is called user-generated content (UGC), and it’s a winning strategy for any eCommerce brand.

According to the study, 72% of respondents said that real customer photos and videos are what they really want to see on an eCommerce website. And 79% said that UGC influences their purchase decisions.

Why is UGC so influential? First, it helps turn website visitors into buyers and buyers into fans. Second, by adding UGC to your eCommerce experience, you can let your customers do some of the work selling your products.

A few examples of brands doing this well include Lush and Ikea. Lush shares UGC below products and makes the best reviews part of the product description.

Lush UGC

Customers are no longer reading only what the brand wants them to read; they’re also getting genuine insight from customers who have tried and love the products.

Ikea also adds UGC to their product pages. By tagging the company in social media posts, customers have the chance to see their home decor snaps added to the Ikea website.


Personalisation is welcomed

Another key takeaway from this report is the confirmation that personalisation still matters. According to the survey, 70% reported that it’s important for brands to deliver personalised experiences.

What is a personalised experience in an eCommerce context? It could include the ability to create an account with a wishlist function. Or it could mean adjusting the content on the homepage to reflect products that are likely to be popular with an individual.

This method can help reduce the number of steps to conversion by putting products they are most likely to purchase right in front of them. However, it can also increase the value of each transaction.

By presenting unique offers and discounts to the visitor, you can drive more impulse purchases and increase the chances of an upsell or a downsell.

Dominos is a perfect example of a downsell in action. When you land on their site, you’re presented with the option to view all deals straight away. They don’t make you wait or look around for a discount code, it is pretty much always offered.

And once you’ve selected your pizza choice, you’re given the opportunity to add low-value items to your order. If hunger and temptation get away from you, a simple £20 order could soon become a £35 order once you’ve added garlic bread, wedges and cookies to your order.

Key takeaway

eCommerce is here to stay, and there isn’t much sense in fighting it. If you’re not sure how to capitalise on the eCommerce space, we’re here to help. Get in touch to speak to our experts about selling online.