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Marketing

The psychology of online consumerism

Online retail has been at the forefront of consumerism for over 20 years and accounts for a large percentage of overall retail sales for businesses.

In this age of digital transformation, it’s pivotal to stay business savvy, constantly analysing data and trends to understand the customer journey and implement your online strategy accordingly.

Here are some insights into e-commerce consumer behaviour – and the psychology behind our purchasing habits.

Everyone loves a bargain, right?

It’s no surprise that people are excited when they see a ‘sale’ sign and jump at the chance to receive a discount on their favourite products. But, how effective is the tactic of having discounted items so readily available online, most often being the first thing a consumer will view?

A study conducted by Zalora found that by offering an online consumer discounted items at the touch of a button, they could be losing valuable high net worth customers. And, by making it slightly more difficult to find the bargains (increasing search friction), they could increase their bottom line.

Website design is integral to successful online retailing. From UX to the customer journey, it’s important to consistently review this to stay ahead.

Pragmatic or experiential?

Adding a personal touch to communications is imperative. This is especially true for the e-commerce sector, where understanding your customer and how to tailor their journey is key to a successful business model.

Usually, shoppers can be broken down into two categories; those who shop for the experience or thrill and those who shop for necessity. Understanding the different behaviour patterns of these groups is extremely important for user experience, as studies have shown that specific variables in user engagement can have a direct influence on Achievement/Value shopping and Adventure/Gratification shopping.

Time is of the essence

In this increasingly digitalised era, our attention span and patience is rapidly decreasing. With studies showing up to 70 per cent of online shopping carts are abandoned before checkout, how do you ensure that the buying cycle is completed as quickly as possible?

Findings have indicated that slow load times and an excessive number of pages at the checkout are the main reasons for an abandoned shopping cart. It’s common that the longer you wait for something, the less likely you are to purchase the item – this could be due to cognitive dissonance or even pre-buyer’s remorse!

This is no different in the world of e-commerce, as with each additional barrier to payment, you decrease the likelihood of a sale.

By implementing slight changes such as reducing the number of ads on the checkout page, decreasing load time and simplifying the overall buying process, you can dramatically increase sales and your bottom line.

The online Master of Marketing at RMIT University ensures marketing professionals understand the consumer journey and the behaviours that drive them by learning topics such as product innovation, product innovation and consumer behaviour – all designed to be applied in the real world in real time.

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