As part of Magento’s latest annual UK Consumer Preferences Report, it was revealed what does and doesn’t matter to UK shoppers.
With main points for UK customers including ease of navigation, quick load times and accurate stock levels, it seems that the simple things are still the most crucial.
Other elements that many online shoppers now expect as standard include free delivery and returns, and if this is something you currently don’t or can’t offer, it may be one reason for high abandoned cart rates.
The report also highlighted the importance of a brand’s sustainability ethos and how environmentally conscious they are – whether that’s when sourcing products, or delivering them to customers. Excessive and non-recyclable packaging regularly rank highly for reasons shoppers would seek out other brands, so that step of your customer journey is really important to focus on.
And with brand loyalty still an important element of the online shopping experience, it’s key to spend time and energy maintaining those hard-earned customers and knowing your audience thoroughly.
Below, we’ve picked out the key points from the report to ensure you’re positioning your brand in the best place for repeat sales and increased conversions.
How is your brand perceived?
Your brand reputation matters. Although there’s a perception that consumers are more fickle due to the level of wide choice available in most markets, the report found that 44% of shoppers are more likely to buy with a company again if they have a positive reputation.
With more and more consumers sharing what they buy online via social media, brands must maintain this brand perception across all mediums – not just your website.
Sustainability is a growing concern
The social and environmental impact brands have is quickly becoming a huge decider when people are shopping online.
30% of UK customers said they would be more likely to shop with a retailer who is trying to minimise air miles. The use of single use plastics is also a factor, with 32% preferring to use a retailer with sustainable packaging. Tying into this is the minimisation of packaging in general, with nearly half of all respondents (47%) citing this as important when receiving online deliveries.
It’s important to consider the way your brand is perceived when their order arrives at their doorstep. Is their item packaged in non-recyclable material that could be minimised or replaced with a more sustainable option?
Usability vs. Design
The most important factor of all for UK customers when shopping online was that the website is easy to use. In the results, 56% of those asked said that this was a deciding factor when it came to browsing and checking out, with 16% making it a priority over the design and look of the site.
Following close behind when it comes to important factors was quick load time (41% valuing this highly) and products, sizes and colours being in stock, which was important to 34% of people.
In relation to mCommerce, one in four shoppers required a website which works well on their mobile, with the 18 – 45 age group stating this as most important.
Data protection matters
In a time when data protection is a huge concern for both consumers and business, UK shoppers (51%) cited this as a key factor when shopping online.
Whether that’s sticking to the new GDPR regulations or maintaining the security of customer accounts and passwords, it’s important to make this a priority.
Those more concerned with data protection were older respondents in the 55+ category, rather than 18 – 24 year olds.
What you should avoid as an online retailer
When it comes to things that UK customers definitely don’t want retailers to do, the report highlighted the importance of relevant marketing communications. 37% of 18 – 24 year olds would unsubscribe from a mailing list if a brand sent irrelevant email marketing.
Pre-GDPR regulations, many brands would automatically sign customers up to their mailing lists, so now that the new law has come into play, your lists should contain those who are actively interested in your brand and regularly engage by opening your communications and clicking through to your site.
Another 10% of those asked would stop shopping with a retailer if the wrong items were suggested to them when they were browsing the site. Displaying related products can be a great way to up-sell online but it’s key that they are similar to what the customer is already browsing to reduce drop off rates.
The absence of free returns is also a big deterrent to online shoppers; many surveyed said that they would abandon their carts if this was not an available option.
UK shoppers know what they want
The data collected implies that UK shoppers know what they want to buy and when they want to buy it. Of those asked, 24% said that they have completed a transaction in less than two minutes – which highlights the importance of a smooth checkout process.
With shoppers in the UK making fewer unplanned purchases, spending less time searching online for the best price and not necessarily feeling overwhelmed by choice, it proves that brand loyalty, a great delivery process and targeted marketing (rather than constant, irrelevant offers) are key to the shopping experience.
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