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Episerver study shows the pitfalls of Commerce development

11-Apr-2019

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For the third year running, Episerver has surveyed 4,500 consumers about their online habits. Here, we share a few startling revelations from their most recent study.

The obstacles to conversion

Episerver’s latest report, titled “Reimagining Commerce: Principles of Standout Digital Shopping Experiences” reinforced, among other things, the importance of complete and correct content. The report states that 98 percent of online shoppers have been deterred from making a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect content. In fact, one quarter of those surveyed by Episerver said such incorrect or incomplete content would always dissuade them from making a purchase.

That is sobering information for those who follow a “as long as the product is there, the rest doesn’t matter” approach. To achieve a purchase, not only the product has to be right, the surroundings have to be as well.

The path towards conversion is also obstructed by other issues with which consumers struggle. Some of them stem from the overwhelming choices they face when shopping online. A whopping 46 percent of those surveyed by Episerver said that they had failed to make a purchase in the past because they were stumped by the amount of choices that were put in front of them.

What this means for brands and retailers is that they need to focus more on optimizing the consumer journey, which now often involves more than one viewing of a particular product before the purchase. In fact, 35 percent of online shoppers look at a product three times or more before buying it. This, combined with the fact that only 20 percent of those surveyed said that all their online purchases are pre-planned, underlines the need for guidance, for showing your potential customer the way through your sales funnel.

The need for and fear of personalization

While some of this sales funnel optimization can be achieved through personalization, there is a caveat. Another key finding of the Episerver study shows the dichotomy of consumers’ feelings about personalization, as they are increasingly worried about the usage of their personal data. While 88 percent of those surveyed say that the priority for brands and retailers to personalize sites and content online is equal or higher compared to 2018, 93 percent say it is an equal or higher priority for them to adequately protect the personal data of their users.

As delivering personalized experiences is impossible without the collection and usage of said personal data, this puts retailers and brands in a quandary. What user requirement should they focus their efforts on while also keeping their bottom line in focus? Every E-Commerce player will have to answer that question for themselves while keeping their customers’ best interests at heart.

The study also reiterates the significance of using social media on your site. Of those surveyed, 63 percent have stated that they have clicked on a social media ad in the past, while 21 percent made a direct purchase from such a post. If you look at online consumers under the age of 37, those numbers are even higher. In that age group, 78 percent have clicked on a social media ad and 34 percent made a direct purchase from it.

Niteco has years of experience working on E-Commerce sites and Episerver Commerce in particular. If you need a site that leverages the newest insights into user behavior, come to us. We will take your site where you want it to go.

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