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Understand consumer expectations in the ecommerce journey

May 17, 2021 | By Rande Price, Research Director – DCN @Randeloo

As digital publishers diversify revenue strategies and develop ecommerce businesses, it is important to understand the consumer purchase process. For many publishers, ecommerce is more than just affiliate links, branded content, and online stores. Publishers are exploring investments in online shops, unique product offerings, wellness programs, virtual learning, and events. With new ecommerce businesses and multiple digital touchpoints consumers, expect an efficient and personalized shopping experience.

BlueVenn, a provider of tools and analytics for marketers, explores consumer purchase behaviors and engagement in a new report, Digital Divide. They partnered with OnePoll to survey 4,000 consumers and 500 marketers in U.S. and U.K.

Key findings include:

  • Over half (55%) of all respondents in the U.S. report that having a personalized shopping experience with a brand is important to them. Interestingly, only 27% report that brands provide a similar and cohesive shopping experience across all channels.
  • While marketers report that their businesses collect a lot of consumer data, only four in 10 report using the information. Clearly, it’s important to analyze the data and incorporate the findings to improve the consumer experience.
  • Fifty-seven percent of U.S. consumer report that they prefer to share their data directly with a brand they trust. This offers a unique opportunity for publishers to grow their ecommerce businesses since they already have a direct and trusted relationship with consumers.
  • Mobile ecommerce is the new norm in the U.S. Six in 10 U.S. respondents (61%) agree (32% “strongly agree” and 29% “somewhat agree”) that they’ve increased the amount of time they shop on mobile compared to last year.
  • The top two digital channels that U.S. consumers use to interact with brands include email (61%) and desktop/laptop web browser (51%). Interestingly, Facebook placed fifth (39%).
  • Close to two-thirds (63% “very important/somewhat important”) of U.S. respondents report that they think it is important for a brand to create a personalized shopping experience.In fact, 58% of U.S. consumers report that they are likely (23% “very likely” and 35% “somewhat likely”) to stop buying a product/service online due to the lack of a personalized experience.
  • Less than half (43%) of U.S. respondents report that brands understand their shopping need.

Browsing and browsers

When shopping for specific goods and services, U.S. consumers prefer overwhelmingly their desktop/laptop browser. Ranking and ratings:

  • Clothing, homeware, and exercise equipment – desktop/laptop browser (#1, 48%)
  • Financial services – desktop/laptop browser (#1, 41%)
  • Insurance – desktop/laptop browser (#1, 47%)
  • Cars – desktop/laptop browser (#2, 26%)
  • Charitable donations – desktop/laptop browser (#1, 26%)
  • Holiday or leisure – desktop/laptop browser (#1, 54%)
  • TV, movies, or entertainment – desktop/laptop browser (#1, 38%)

Diversifying product offerings and revenue streams is helping publishers deepen their audience relationship. As publishers continue to build their direct-to-consumer ecommerce portfolios, it’s important to monitor the consumer’s digital shopping experience. Understanding the process of multiple touchpoints and shifts in online shopping behavior provides insight into consumer needs and expectations. There is a growing opportunity for publishers to play an important role in offering consumers a cohesive digital shopping experience.

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