We just got our hands on a juicy Facebook shopping report about the future of Facebook shopping.
More specifically, this report uncovers the biggest behavioral shifts we are seeing in shopping around the world.
Now we’ve read every page of this 64 page Facebook shopping report and we’re going to break down in this post what you need to know going into 2021.
Because this can help you jump on some consumer trends that can help your business and your career grow.
Now as a result of the pandemic going around the world, there have been lockdowns, nonessential retail restrictions, and the risk of getting yourself or someone else sick.
And because of this, e-commerce adoption has sped up five years, according to IBM estimates.
But there are two sides of the story for the retail sectors between essential and nonessential product categories.
For essential products like groceries, household supplies and personal care items, sales have seen unprecedented growth.
In the US, total food and beverage sales are projected to grow by 11.3% year over year in 2020.
On the other hand, nonessential products like apparel, furniture, and electronics are seeing a decline and will likely contract by 27% to 30% year over year in 2020.
So basically, unless you have an essential product that someone needs immediately, then you are likely experiencing less foot traffic.
Meanwhile, if you have an online product or e-commerce store like Amazon, then you are likely experiencing tremendous growth.
So as consumers adapt to this new shopping reality, it’s key that we all understand this new behavior and the expectations of consumers in order to create an online shopping experience for success.
That’s why in this post, we want to break down the Facebook report with the major factors for consumer buying decisions from 2020.
And this should help people who have what’s been deemed as non-essential products to adapt and grow.
All right, now let’s go ahead and dive in by taking a look at how consumers have changed.
Consumers Buying Trends
Many years ago, consumer buying decisions were based largely on what was immediately available in the store.
Selection and price were usually limited to your local market or the mall. So that made the purchasing decision much easier to make.
For example, if you are looking for red and yellow swimming trunks and you only found 3 in your local mall, then you only had to decide on which one you liked better and what price you were willing to pay between those 3.
But today, digital’s growing influence in the shopping journey has empowered consumers with more information and choice.
This has made shopping decisions a little bit more complex.
So what exactly is on the consumer’s mind?
Well, there’s a lot to think about.
Let’s break down what consumer buying criteria is when they are shopping in the store and their buying criteria when they are shopping online.
In-Store Consumer Buying Criteria
1. Best Price
Now according to the report, 74% of consumers say they are focused on getting the best price for everyday items and 61% say they are actively seeking out deals and coupons.
So whether consumers are in-store or online, price is still the number one factor in the purchase decision process.
This is pretty obvious with the pandemic going on.
But this is a really big deal. According to the report, 71% of people agree there needs to be a safe environment for them to shop in.
3. In stock
And the number three factor for in-store goes along with that as well.
It’s because 68% of people say it’s crucial for retailers to have the products they are interested in stock.
So for brick and mortar stores, according to this report, if you have good prices, a safe shopping experience and desired products in stock, then GREAT!
You are headed in the right direction.
Now if you want your store to be better and different, there are 3 more factors to consider which are:
4. Proximity which is at 65%,
5. Convenience coming in at 65%, and
6. Customer service at 63%.
In 2020, offering a seamless return policy and providing superior customer service has been influencing in-store shopping decisions.
Online Customer Shopping Behavior
Alright now, let’s look at what’s driving online shopping behavior.
And of course as a digital marketing agency, we help influence purchasing decisions every day, so this part was especially important for us.
And it’s important for anyone else who is looking to leverage the internet to grow their business.
Ok so, as we mentioned earlier, price is still the number one biggest purchasing criteria for consumers.
But after that, things start to look a little bit different.
Reliability in the product is far more important online than it is when people are shopping in stores.
With it being number two or 70% of an online buyer’s criteria. People are more likely to return to your site, if you reliably have a good stock of product.
Plus, in stores you have the opportunity to see the product, test it, try it on, etc.
Whereas online, you are making a decision based on perfectly made digital images, well-crafted descriptions and sometimes, biased reviews.
So it makes sense that right after the reliability factor there is the return policy factor.
3. Return Policies
68% of consumers’ top buying criteria is based on return policies.
If there is a faulty product, or if the product you received doesn’t look exactly like it did in the pictures, then you want to be able to return it, easily.
4. Delivery Time
Next, you have delivery time, which is tied with return policies at 68%.
We’re sure this is a big deciding factor for all of us when buying something online.
Most people avoid buying anything online that takes more than two weeks to get to them.
In some cases, they are even willing to pay a little bit more if the product can get to them faster.
So, having great shipping speed is a near necessity to good sales.
Also tied with return policy and delivery time, is the next factor which is convenience, also at 68%.
So of course, the online experience should flow seamlessly.
From product information, to selection, to cart, and to the checkout.
Everything should have a great user experience that is easy and convenient for the shopper.
6. Delivery Options
And finally, number six on the top criteria for determining where to shop online is delivery options.
Delivery options basically give users the ability to pay a little bit more, so that they can receive the product faster.
FedEx is popular for this because they have overnight delivery options, which is very convenient for someone who has an urgent need.
Consumers like the ability of being able to set their own pace.
So there you have it, some of the top purchasing criteria for in-store and online purchases.
Now for the big question: What does all this mean for marketers?
Importance of Understanding Consumer Behaviors for Marketers
1 – Adapt to the new shopping trends
What we mean by this is that the shopping criteria for consumers are changing rapidly.
Instead of fighting against it, try to really understand where things are going so you can put yourself in a great position.
Now of course, we’re a little biased, but we highly recommend creating or optimizing your online shopping experience.
Because whether you like it or not, the trend is accelerating and becoming more expected. So take the consumer trends and start to think about how you can build better customer service.
Or how can you deliver products faster!
Or how can create a return policy that will inspire consumer confidence?
2 – Create marketing messages that align with your customer behavior
So don’t just take this information and think to yourself, “Okay now I just need to create a process for it.”
Take it a step further and create an entire marketing plan, which by the way, if you haven’t read our post on how to create a marketing plan in 2021, here’s the link for that.
So now that you know that consumers care a lot about reliability for example, you can create more marketing videos that demonstrate how consumers are using it and test it live for them.
Also make sure you are always stocked up, so consumers know that they can buy from you easily!
This ultimately helps increase trust and confidence in the reliability of your product.
For instance, if you’re in a local market and can do same day delivery, then this is something that you should definitely include in your marketing messages.
3 – Focus on LTV
LTV stands for lifetime value which is a marketing term and metric used for determining how valuable a customer is to your store.
When you are doing business online, it can be tempting to ignore some of these shopping trends in order to save some money.
For example, some e-commerce stores have a very short return policy like 7 days, and in some worst cases, no return policy at all.
Clearly handling returns and missing out on revenue would be expensive.
But this could be a necessary cost for you to win over the hearts of your customers in the long term.
Because if people see you have a good return policy, then it will likely result in more sales in the short-term and more confidence for your customer base.
So we believe you should focus on long term results and long term value, before you look at short-term gains.
And lastly, as we approach 2021, we want to share a quote from Ian Simons who is currently the HEAD of industry for e-commerce at Facebook.
He says the following,
“The biggest question today is: To what extent will behavioral shifts towards digital experience stick organically, or will businesses need to work harder to retain these behaviors?
Our guess is there will remain a large shift in consumer behavior toward online, but retail isn’t going anywhere.
Depending on evolving consumer comfort levels, there may be more appetite for merged online and offline experiences.
Like BOPIS which means Buy Online and Pick-up In Store.
Or like driving to a fast food location and ordering your meal on your phone to speed things up.”
So right there, you have a head at Facebook betting on e-commerce in the future.
And with Facebook shopping stores emerging, we expect they will continue to put a huge emphasis on that channel for businesses.
So, hopefully this all makes it very clear… that NOW is the time to start taking advantage of some of these consumer buying trends.
As always, if you need help with reaching and generating more customers through digital marketing, we’re happy to help! Talk to us today at 404-596-7925.
Web Design, Digital Marketing, SEO agency, Arepo, Ibadan & Lagos, Nigeria