Recent advances in technology have seen a huge shift in consumer behaviour. The evolution of the internet has transformed the way we purchase goods and how we perceive brands, according to research by online review platform Feefo. But many businesses still have no idea why customers behave the way they do. However, with 30% of consumers prepared to switch to a competitor after just one bad purchasing experience, there’s never been a more important time for businesses to learn what makes their customers tick.
The survey of 2,000 adults revealed that 70% of people immediately get online – with 79% heading straight to Google or Amazon – as soon as they have decided to purchase something. But while they may hold the internet shopping monopoly, some consumers will leave these sites to look elsewhere before making their purchase.
The survey found that 62% of people consider themselves cautious and conservative individuals, which has an inevitable impact on their purchasing decisions. Despite the influences of friends, family, 24/7 advertising, and social media, only one in five people admitted to purchasing items to impress other people. Meanwhile, 55% of consumers take a business’s brand values into account when deciding whether or not to buy from them. Just 4% of people consider global issues such as the environment when making their decisions. Still, for an overwhelming 82% of people, the most important consideration is the price, while just 28% favour product quality.
While technology may have transformed the way people buy goods and services, most people still appreciate good customer service. For 26% of people, the helpfulness of staff has a big influence on their purchase decisions. Meanwhile, being passed around a call centre is the most exasperating customer service complaint for 30% of people, while 21% identified automated voice systems as their pet hate. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that 43% of people say they prefer to communicate via email with the business they are buying from. Meanwhile, 70% of customers prefer to communicate with brands email after making the purchase. Regardless of the method used to contact a business, three in 10 people expect to receive a response in just 10 minutes.
The survey also looked at how people use websites during their purchasing journey. 80% of customers said they use the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section to answer any queries. If questions popped up on a website, 48% of consumers said they would answer them if it helped improve their buying experience. Meanwhile, 53% of people said that not finding the answers to their questions was the most frustrating issue they faced as an online shopper in 2020.
But even when they’ve filled their online shopping cart, many consumers don’t complete the transaction. As many as 79% of survey respondents admitted to abandoning the items in their cart before completing the purchase, 63% blamed high delivery costs.
People are keen to find out what other customer experiences have been using a particular product or buying from a specific business. The Feefo survey reveals that 64% of consumers trust review websites, with 49% more likely to trust closed review platforms than open review platforms. Whether or not they’ve had a positive purchasing experience, 72% of people say they are likely to leave a customer review themselves and have done so in the last 12 months.
Advances in technology have seen a huge shift in consumer behaviour, and businesses face an increasing challenge of meeting consumer expectations. Not only do consumers demand fast and efficient service, but with easy access to online recommendations and reviews, consumers are more empowered than ever when making their purchasing decisions.
See the infographic below for all the statistics from the survey: