Episerver has launched its fourth-annual global eCommerce survey detailing evolving consumer expectations. Online shoppers are at odds with their desire for personalised digital experiences from brands and their demand for privacy. Fifty-three percent of global consumers want brands to place a higher priority on respecting their online anonymity in 2020. Sixty-one percent want companies to prioritise personalisation as much as they did last year, according to Episerver’s Reimagining Commerce report.
The survey of more than 4,000 online shoppers in five countries reveals personalisation is positive for both retailers and customers. Personalisation is when brands use customer data to provide a relevant digital experience to individuals.
A quarter of respondents said they’ve returned to a retail website to make a purchase after being re-targeted with ads. This was because the ads reminded them of what they wanted to buy. Personalised content recommendations, product recommendations, triggered messages and product search increase retail key performance indicators, but data consent is key.
Reaching for the smartphones
It’s the norm for consumers to reach for smartphones over computers and tablets to browse and buy, particularly the millennial generation. Episerver data shows mobile-native millennials default to smartphones when shopping online more than any other generation. In fact, no other age group broke the half mark for primary reliance on their smartphones. Forty-eight percent of shoppers across generations have significantly increased their reliance on their smartphones for shopping in the last year. This shows the sea change that has come to the retail sector in an era dominated by the “smartphone generation”. However mobile conversion rates have still not caught up to those for desktop.
- 53% of consumers who said they shop online every day rely on their smartphones.
- 18% of baby boomers choose to shop on their smartphones over other devices.
- 36% of consumers who only shop once a year use their smartphones. Laptops came in as the second most common choice at 31%.
Transforming industries new and old
From online prescription refills to mobile check deposits. Consumer expectations for seamless digital experiences extend beyond the retail sphere and into the healthcare, financial services and high-tech spaces. With consumers becoming reliant on their mobile devices, opportunities abound for these industries to create deeper engagements with their customers.
“Companies are facing a digital experience paradox,” said Alex Atzberger, CEO of Episerver. “Digital is a necessity to compete, but it’s getting more difficult and expensive to compete on digital alone. The golden standard for digital experience isn’t right for every company and customer, and yet the requirements keep increasing. We’ve been sold on experience, but hindsight is 20/20. Understanding what customers want, giving them control over how and where their data is used. Then leading them to the next best content and action is how retailers ultimately solve for these contradictions.”
Concern about data privacy and security
The concern among consumers around their data privacy and online security is preventing once-promising selling channels from reaching mass appeal. Voice commerce, often predicted to radically disrupt e-commerce, for instance, declined year over year. Last year’s report found 17% of respondents used voice-assisted devices to complete a purchase multiple times a month versus just 7% this year. In Episerver’s 2019 report, 22% of respondents used voice-assisted devices to research a product or service multiple times a month. That figure dropped to only 8% in 2020. The future doesn’t look much brighter. Thirty-three percent of consumers report lack of security will stop them from making purchases via voice-enabled devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Episerver polled more than 4,000 consumers across five key geographies: the US, UK, Australia, Germany and Sweden.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business
Episerver produce really interesting reports. For the fourth year in a row, it surveyed 4,000 global online shoppers about their online consumer behaviour and expectations. The report highlight the direction e-commerce is headed in 2020. In addition, how brands and retailers around the world can create personalised experiences that cut through the clutter. One of the most interesting components of the report is the relationship between privacy and personalisation. Following a year filled with fraud, breaches and data vulnerabilities, there is consumer concerns around their data privacy and security. As consumers grow wary of retailers that overstep boundaries. It’s crucial for brands to strike the right balance between respecting privacy and delivering personalised experiences for consumers across generations.