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Consumer habits to shape online shopping in 2014

26 March 2014 - 15:16 by Paul Tissington

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What makes shopping online so different from high street retail is that consumers have a lot more power to shape the experience they receive. This means companies have to carefully follow e-commerce trends if they want to stay on top, rather than dictating what type of services consumers can harness.

Industry expert, Mark Russell, wrote a piece this month for Retail Digital, in which he outlined the things that online retailers will have to take into account when building their digital strategies in 2014. And, as expected, it is the preferences of the customer that are in the driving seat.

Russell pinpoints the ongoing growth of mobile and table sales as being a big factor for e-commerce, because of course with more people choosing to shop from a portable device, it is necessary to adapt desktop-oriented shopping sites to accommodate this audience.

In addition, consumers are more attuned to getting great deals when shopping online than ever before, as a result of the proliferation of voucher codes and digital coupons. People expect to get a bargain whenever they shop online, so by factoring in these offers, it will be possible for retailers to attract customers.

Retailers are also advised to make sure that any marketing campaigns they do run are actually managed in a way that they result in a return on investment, rather than being a stab in the dark, which may or may not be beneficial.

Engaging with customers via social networking sites and ensuring that this presence is used effectively, not squandered or fumbled, is important.

Shoppers in the UK are savvier than ever, especially when it comes to social media. So engaging them with campaigns that are easy to share and enjoy, while still pushing a brand, is important.