By Allison Howen, Associate Editor
When the original iPhone debuted nearly 10 years ago, it changed more than just how we communicate.
Offering features beyond text and phone calls, the iPhone became the prototype of what a mobile phone should be. It gave users the ability to download applications customized to their interests, listen to music, browse the Web and, of course, shop online. This changed the commerce industry as a whole, as brick-and-mortar shoppers started using their devices in stores to learn more about products and compare competitor prices, while online shoppers had the ability to make purchases at any time and from anywhere. The success of the iPhone and the many other smartphones that followed undoubtedly created a more connected world, which has resulted in savvier consumers and much different digital purchasing habits.
Merchants are wise to learn as much as they can about today's modern shopper, as doing so can help them optimize the digital shopping experiences they offer. While it's always important to analyze a specific customer base, taking a look at the larger commerce trends can also be beneficial. With the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching, take a closer look at the digital purchasing habits of today's shoppers:
42% of purchases occur within the first hour of a shopper's browsing session.
Q1 2016 data from Monetate reveals that a significant amount of purchases happen in the first 60 minutes following a shopper's first visit to a website. Comparatively, just nine percent of all purchases happen in the six hours immediately following those first 60 minutes. To capitalize, retailers should optimize their sites to provide a strong first impression, including making sure their site is fast, showcases great imagery and displays trust signals (to name a few) as well as consider how to engage shoppers with longer paths to purchase.
52% of consumers who convert from a referral typically do so within 24 hours of the initial share.
Extole data from this year shows that most customers who convert from a referral typically do so within a day (the data also showed that referrals are most commonly shared via email or social). Referred customers also have a 25 percent higher lifetime value and a three times higher conversion rate than non-referred new customers. Luckily, retailers can easily encourage referrals by including sharing functionality and offering incentives that make it simple and rewarding for their customers to recommend products and services.
87% of consumers are unlikely to ever buy from a retailer again if they purchase an item that did not have a correct product description.
Inaccurate product descriptions are a big turn off according to Shotfarm's "Product Information Report." The problem seems to affect online apparel retailers the most, with the study finding that 25 percent of U.S. consumers returned an item in the last year because the product information provided did not match what they purchased.
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73% of consumers use their mobile phone while shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.
RichRelevance's 2016 "Creepy or Cool" survey on U.S. consumers sheds light on how consumers use their mobile phones as part of the shopping experience. According to the data, the majority of consumers use their mobile phones while shopping in-stores, with younger shoppers more likely to do so. To cater to this customer segment, retailers can encourage in-store shoppers to scan a product with their mobile device to access product reviews and recommendations for other items - a tactic that 79 percent of respondents considered "cool."
87.5% of shoppers using PayPal to checkout ultimately convert.
ComScore data shows that PayPal is better at converting online shoppers than other payment solutions. Comparatively, Visa Checkout converts online shoppers at a rate of 51.2 percent, with all other payment types converting shoppers at a rate of 45.6 percent. This proves the value in offering alternative payment options at checkout, particularly simplified and popular ones like PayPal.
38% of consumers start their shopping search on Amazon.
A recent PowerReviews study reveals that a substantial amount of consumers begin their shopping search on the e-commerce marketplace, followed by 35 percent who start their shopping journey on Google. Although those are significant percentages, the study also found that 21 percent of consumers are more likely to start their search at a specific retailer while six percent start their shopping experience on other e-commerce marketplaces like eBay.