The last two years have been very confusing and turbulent for both traders and customers. Numerous changes and restrictions such as lockdowns, supply chain issues, and increased environmental awareness required many adjustments - and at times turned out to be challenging!
But for those who accept the challenge, there are opportunities. Customer needs have changed and customers have very different expectations of online shopping than they did twelve months ago. However, this is not a cause for concern, but on the contrary, it means the acquisition of many potential new customers for retailers as well as the opportunity to strengthen the loyalty of existing customers.
To find out what customers' online shopping needs are, Adobe surveyed 9,565 consumers in the EMEA region in October 2021. The results are valuable insights into what online shopping should look like in the future.
the perfect customer experience
The following top trends should be considered by retailers in order to keep up with the rapid developments of e-commerce and to satisfy the ever-changing customer needs:
4 Top Trends
- Assortment and personalization: Customers want a large product selection tailored to their individual preferences and extensive choices in payment, delivery, and communication. Clear prices, meaningful product descriptions, and high-quality images are important here. In addition, the offer should be tailored to individual preferences. The aim is to strike a balance between a comprehensive range and greater personalization. The latter should be based on previous online shopping behavior. For retailers, it is crucial to create real added value for the customer with the help of data in order to increase sales with customized offers.
- Micro Shopping Experience: The surveys showed that customers visit a website several times before making a purchase. Retailers have several options to prevent this and encourage customers to make a purchase more quickly. On the one hand, they should regularly send current offers to customers. On the other hand, reminders that a product will soon be sold out or is still in the shopping basket also encourage customers to make a purchase more quickly.
- Conscious shopping behavior: There are certain criticisms that are still decisive for customers to visit an online shop and make a purchase there. Price is still in the first place, closely followed by convenience and time savings resulting from an online purchase. But personalized offers and, in particular, the fulfillment of personal values also play an important role. Empathic shopping experiences are crucial here, which the retailer should offer, for example, by using artificial intelligence.
- Values: Customers not only attach importance to a balanced price-performance ratio but also increasingly to moral aspects such as sustainability and social responsibility. The sustainability aspect in particular, but also, for example, fair treatment of employees, determines whether a customer buys from a retailer or not. 58% of those surveyed said they would no longer want to continue buying from retailers who did not meet their values.
In addition to these 4 top trends, there are numerous other requirements that are supposedly less obvious, but at least as relevant:
- No third-party advertising on the website
- Clarity of the website
- Free returns
- Availability of products
- Prioritized payment options
- Quick and easy checkout process (no need to enter delivery and order details for repeated orders)
These criteria are of decisive importance for lasting customer loyalty and an increase in sales.
CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES
These trends show that successful e-commerce is best achieved with a customer experience that is tailored as individually as possible to the customer. Retailers should provide customers with a comprehensive, personalized, and convenient shopping experience that meets the customer's value proposition.
While these challenges are enormous, so are the opportunities to attract happy customers and increase sales!