Five Changes in Consumer Behavior Affecting Shipping Strategies

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Scott Riddle - ShipNetwork
Scott Riddle
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Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the eCommerce industry was already on an upward growth direction with increased technological adoption. Interestingly, the outbreak of the pandemic which was characterized by travel bans and locked downs accelerated the growth at breakneck speed. This exponential growth has fueled fierce competition among online retailers forcing smaller businesses to rethink their marketing strategies.

Therefore, to be successful, eCommerce retailers and eCommerce order fulfillment services need to understand the new trends in consumer shopping behavior. They also need to adopt business strategies that meet the current expectation of an online customer to improve the customer's experience. We discuss some of the changes and trends in eCommerce consumer behaviors that online retailers and eCommerce fulfillment services should be aware of this year.

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1. Convenience Is Key

According to Linnswork's recent survey, approximately 76% of online customers consider convenience as one of their top priorities during online shopping. Consequently, 78% of eCommerce customers now value convenience more than they did in the pre-pandemic period. The ability to easily browse an online retail store and checkout as a guest is one convenience issue that is so dear to most customers. Additionally, the fewer forms a consumer has to complete during their shopping, the more convenient and better they find the general customer shopping journey. Therefore, eCommerce retailers should ensure that they keep the online shopping process as simple as possible to enhance their customer experience and subsequently build a broad customer base.

2. Cross-device Shopping Accessibility

With increased digital adoption, about 81% of customers are seeking seamless transfer of information between devices during shopping. The expectation now is that eCommerce retailers can create an online shopping experience where one can begin a buying journey on one device like a laptop and end on another like their mobile phone, without any disruption or loss of vital information. This cross-device accessibility is expected to include checkout with crucial information already completed in whichever device a customer finalizes their shopping, even if the information was filled in another device.

This is an expectation that eCommerce retailers and their 3PL providers need to be aware of to come up with strategies that will guarantee them a competitive edge over their competitors. Additionally, retailers need to ensure that their mobile shopping experience dwarfs the traditional desktop shopping experience, not only in terms of accessibility, but also when it comes to ease of use. The easier online shopping through mobile devices, the more convenient the shopping experience.

3. Omnichannel Shopping Accessibility

With access to multiple technology options, about 70% of consumers now shop online while scrolling through various social media platforms. Thus, they expect their favorite brands to be on the same channels they spend the majority of their time. An online retailer who can actualize this is likely to maximize convenience by ensuring that their customers never have to leave their trusted favorite social media platforms during the shopping process. Therefore, for eCommerce retailers, this calls for the implementation of an omnichannel shopping model which focuses on various marketplaces where consumers spend most of their time. For instance, online retailers can use Facebook and Instagram marketplaces to buy and sell their goods.

4. Effortless Payment Methods

In the current dispensation of eCommerce, most consumers are trying to explore online stores that have easy-to-set-up payment gateways that support popular payment methods like buy now, pay later, or Payment on Delivery (POD). Statistics show that the simplicity of payment options drives up to 89% of consumers to make shopping decisions more quickly. Additionally, 84% of consumers purchase larger ticket products that offer effortless and flexible payment options. Therefore, to make the customer's buying journey as convenient as possible, both the retailers and order fulfillment services need to come up with flexible payment and checkout options.

5. Fast and Reliable Delivery

About 95% of consumers believe that the prompt delivery option is a must-have feature for any retail shop. As such, every eCommerce retailer, eCommerce fulfillment service provider, or 3PL provider must ensure that they minimize delays to remain competitive and profitable. Furthermore, shipping transparency is also sacrosanct to consumers as 72% of the consumers have abandoned their purchases over lack of transparency.

To increase their level of transparency eCommerce fulfillment services should ensure that they have an open and accessible product review platform. This is because some consumers use the product review as a basis for making their purchase options. For prompt deliveries, eCommerce retailers should strategically partner with 3PL software solution providers to optimize routing and leverage omnichannel order fulfillment thus saving time and cost of delivery.

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The Bottomline

With the changes in consumer behaviors, eCommerce businesses can immensely benefit from partnering with a reputable and trusted 3PL that has a comprehensive fulfillment network. ShipNetwork is a 3PL that offers its customers faster and more accurate order fulfillment that ensures that they succeed in satisfying their customers and also build a broad customer base. Contact us today to learn more!

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