While it’s true that customers still want to enter brick-and-mortar stores to immerse themselves within a brand and interact with it, the beauty of e-commerce lies in its convenience – if the retailer’s site makes it easy for people to transact, of course.
According to Klarna’s director of marketing ANZ, Katrina Ang, while it’s no surprise that the pandemic has seen an increase in e-commerce, what is interesting to see is the evolution of the online customer.
“The last few years we’ve seen Australians develop higher standards and expectations on how brands engage with them online.
“They’re looking for new and exciting ways to shop with confidence, a convenient and more personalised experience, plus improved benefits for loyalty. It’s these ingredients that make the world of e-commerce so exciting, with consumers having more control at their fingertips than ever before.”
In a recent report from Klarna, The New Shopper Ecosystem, Australian consumers revealed what would improve their online shopping experience. Think interest-free flexible payment options, virtual shopping options and even the ability to create an online monthly shopping budget to track spending. Check out the takeaways from the report here.
Interest-free flexible payment options
In the modern retail environment, savvy shoppers are aware that they no longer need to be slaves to their credit cards, as can be seen by the rise of buy now pay later. In fact, if they’re offered a BNPL option, 76 per cent of all online shoppers are more likely to purchase on a site and 72 per cent are more likely to spend more on a single purchase.
It’s clear that these days, consumers expect to be offered multiple payment options.
According to Klarna’s report, 35 per cent of shoppers say that the range of payment options is one of the biggest influencers when deciding where to make a purchase and 46 per cent reveal that it could even encourage them to make a repeat purchase in the future.
On the flipside, 89 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to abandon their shopping cart if their preferred payment option was not available.
It’s no secret these days that savvy online shoppers often go online to read reviews before deciding what to buy. According to the Klarna report, 68 per cent even read several of them beforehand and 44 per cent say it’s one of their biggest influencers when making a purchasing decision. On the other hand, 69 per cent of people said that if they couldn’t find reviews of a product they’re thinking of buying, they’ll just give up on it altogether.
It’s not a problem for just pureplay online retailers, either. Nearly one in three consumers have searched for product reviews while standing outside of the shop before they’ve even decided to step in.
So it’s clear that retailers can help customers make informed choices by collating product reviews and professional tests all in one place. In fact, it’s something that 58 per cent of survey respondents say they would be very interested in.
When Covid hit, smart retailers including Michael Hill, Cue and Incu thought on their feet and quickly switched to offering customers virtual shopping appointments, in order to continue building relationships with them and create connections.
“With any new technology we’ve always seen that it’s taken a while to catch on, however as customers get used to virtual shopping, we can see that it will have exponential growth,” said Doug Low, CEO of iconic fashion retailer, Incu.
Meanwhile, Cue saw average order values increase by fivefold and a 60 per cent conversion ratio. JD Sports and Nike collaborated to establish a video styling service called ‘Style on Speed Dial’, allowing customers to connect with staff via instant messaging, video or voice chats.
While lockdowns have ended, virtual shopping is of great benefit to customers who aren’t able to access physical stores or prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes. According to the Klarna report, 51 per cent are very interested in more retailers offering the service in the long-term, with the demand supporting the launch of Klarna’s new Virtual Shopping platform. It is now in the hands of brands and businesses to deliver, by staying at the forefront of the ever-evolving customer and their needs.