Disruption has unveiled a landscape brimming with new opportunities for retail and commerce. Over the last couple of years, technology and emerging channels of commerce, have altered how businesses and consumers interact.
There’s a huge shift in consumer needs and behavior. There’s also a massive transformation in the way retailers operate. If the consumer is empowered to demand (more and better), retailers are equipped to provide (more and better). Today, armed with technology and innovation, retailers work towards creating a ‘customer-first’ experience. In the process, they also end up implementing measures that drastically improve the quality of services/products and bring down costs (Think automation).
To provide global insights that can help merchants to understand the needs of their customers in this rapidly evolving retail landscape, Shopify recently published its first ‘State of the Commerce’ report.
For a number of independent business owners who aim to nail the eCommerce game, Shopify has become a default platform of choice. In fact, according to their report, Shopify has continued its global growth with more than 820,000 merchants on the platform in over 175 countries.
As Shopify continues to empower global commerce, the platform takes up the responsibility to share valuable insights that such players need to keep their business going strong. The State of Commerce Report unveils the following insights on the changing retail landscape:
1. Brand loyalty is winning over individual purchases
As per Shopify’s report, consumers are more likely to buy repeatedly from the same store. More than 50% of stores witness a shopper purchase twice or more from them. Based on last year’s data, it is reported that on average, a buyer purchased 3.8 times from the same store. All these findings suggest that once a buyer finds a brand that is worth their time and money, they are likely to stay loyal to it.
2. Shoppers need an excuse to buy
This excuse doesn’t stop at holiday sales. Be it discounts, offers, or holiday sales – a shopper loves a good excuse to shop. While November is the busiest and most popular shopping season around the globe, that’s not the only time when people love to shop. While Cyber Monday, Black Friday and pre-holiday shopping get people high on shopping, carry-over sales and overstocks are just as effective. Another point here to note is that though industry stats might indicate that holiday sales have taken a dip, Shopify reports otherwise.
3. Buyers around the world exhibit different buying behaviors
Americans shop more frequently. Japanese spend larger amounts. And, the Germans are the quickest to buy. What these findings indicate is that people are buying frequently online and are also comfortable spending a considerable amount on items they purchase online. Also, the findings of Germans shows that this demographic readily makes well-informed purchase decisions online.
4. People shop to feel the ‘happy’ urge
As per the findings of the report, 36% of Americans say that they shop just to cheer themselves up. No matter where your store is based out of and which geography you’re targeting, there is no peak time for shopping – people shop whenever they want to feel happy. Be it way past midnight or a lazy afternoon, the time has got little to do with shopping. Ultimately, the need to feel happy fuels buying.
5. Mobile vs. Tablet vs. Desktop
While channelizing their efforts into mobile, tablet or desktop, Shopify retailers must take into account where their target audience lives. Geography shows a direct impact on the consumers’ choice of device, as per Shopify’s report. People in India, reportedly, buy more on desktop rather than mobile. Those who live in Brazil use mobile for buying as compared to desktop. In the U.S., all three devices are used to complete online purchases.
6. Social media still lags behind as compared to POS
The report states that online storefronts represent about 80% of the sales made by a brand, followed by point of sale (POS), contrary to the belief that social media has been the major driver. But at the same time, the report also recommends using social media for better discovery of the brand and its products.
Wrapping it up
Using these insights and findings from Shopify’s State of Commerce Report, online businesses can direct their efforts in the right direction. For example, understanding device usage by geography will allow Shopify store owners to wisely invest in the best channel for marketing. Similarly, the fact that running marketing campaigns beyond the holiday season yields results is a great insight for stores who feel the need to increase their year-round sales. With such takeaways, Shopify aims at making commerce better for everyone!
Interested in reading up more? Download the report.