The BigCommerce 2021 State of Ecommerce Report has been released, offering insights into the preferences and frustrations of online consumers. The report includes feedback on small-business e-tailers and their customers, with reliability coming out as the number one factor influencing consumers’ decisions to purchase a product online, with reviews a key way they are determining this – 32 per cent of shoppers said that they read more than five product reviews before purchasing. The research reveals that brands and retailers who are not offering product reviews are losing sales.
The vast majority of those surveyed – 71 per cent – nominated free deliver as a priority when ordering online; again, reliability is more important than “instant gratification”, with only 19 per cent prioritising fast delivery times as part of their buying decision. The report shows that home delivery is still the most popular delivery location, however, Click and Collect demand is growing.
With regard to Ecommerce websites themselves, 39 per cent of consumers say that they would switch retailers for a super-fast loading page, and 21 per cent would switch for live chat support. Frustration at check-out has caused 79 per cent of consumers to abandon their carts on at least one occasion.
“For small businesses, the decision about where to invest and improve their business can come down to infrastructure and, ultimately, bottom line impact,” Shannon Ingrey, Vice President and General Manager of APAC at BigCommerce, said.
“If fast delivery isn’t in scope right now, don’t panic. Instead, look for other ways you can enhance your customer’s experience – perhaps improving loading speeds or responding quickly to customer queries is more achievable.
“If this research shows anything, it’s that there are multiple ways for small businesses to make improvements to their eCommerce offering,” Ingrey added. “In 2021 small businesses shouldn’t worry about having all the bells and whistles. Instead, they should really look at what their customers are expecting and gradually invest further from there.”
Ingrey said that the last 12 months has seen a significant advancement in both the adoption and standards of eCommerce, meaning that small retailers need to really understand what’s important to their audience and building out their business accordingly.
“Across the board, the appetite for different payment options has increased, with BNPL offerings quickly gaining momentum,” Ingrey said. “In addition, product reviews are increasingly significant and are playing a growing role in building consumer trust. Overall, consumers are becoming more patient and have lowered their expectations around delivery times, but not the cost of delivery.
“In 2021 it’s not enough for retailers to just have an online presence. Consumers have come to expect a cohesive, personalised and seamless shopping experience, which means retailers must look beyond functional requirements to understand the most relevant value-adds for their consumer base,” Ingrey concluded.