Retailers must personally connect with shoppers, says Episerver

Retailers must personally connect with shoppers, says Episerver
New report explores consumers’ online shopping habits to help brands deliver on expectations

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Retailers must create personal, emotional connections with their customers to ensure success, according to the latest Reimagining Commerce report by software provider Episerver. 

The report surveyed 4,500 consumers to help brands understand customers’ online shopping habits and deliver services to meet their expectations. Episerver found that while there has been a natural increase in how often people shop online, consumers’ habits have started to stabilise in 2019. Currently, 26% of online consumers shop online weekly, if not more frequently. This is a small increase from the 2018 report where 23% of consumers shopped at this frequency. 

Consistent with findings from a National Retail Federation report, Episerver found that online shoppers are most concerned with delivery and returns. In total, 67% of participants believed retailers should provide free shipping, while 61% said brands should supply shipping tracking capabilities and 52% wanted information about the returns procedure. 

Following the recent data scandals associated with large corporations like Facebook, customers are increasingly concerned with how brands are using and storing their data. According to the report, 93% of participants said it is as important as it was in 2018 (if not more important) that companies respect their anonymity online.

The report also found that consumers are feeling overwhelmed with digital commerce – 46% of respondents said they have failed to complete an online purchase because they were shown too many options. Around 98% of incomplete purchases were caused by incorrect or incomplete content provided by the retailer.

Social media is one of the biggest drivers of online shopping. Online influencers are providing a straight-through path to purchase and as such, 31% of online shoppers surveyed by Episerver said that use social media and have clicked on an influencer’s post have purchased directly through it.  

Voice technology is also growing in popularity in e-commerce, with 17% of online shoppers using voice-activated devices to buy items multiples time a month and 22% using the technology to research products. 

Read the full report

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