Celigo (credit image/Pixabay/Tumisu)Celigo has published the results of its independent survey, 2024 Online Retail Trends Report. The report surveyed over 1,500 US and UK consumers about their recent online shopping experiences. The report also explores consumers preferences, habits and purchasing plans for 2024.

85% of U.K. shoppers surveyed said online retailers failed to meet their expectations at least once in the past year. Respondents cited increased pricing, late deliveries and excessive shipping costs as their primary frustrations. Just as concerning for retailers, inflation and higher prices remain the No. 1 concern for consumers. Almost half (44%) of UK respondents planning to shop less online because they need to tighten their budgets.

(credit image/LinkedIn/Mark Simon)
Mark Simons is Vice President, Strategy at Celigo

Shoppers expect more from online retailers, demanding free guaranteed on-time shipping and deeper price deals and discounts. Otherwise, they will purchase elsewhere,” said Mark Simon, Vice President of Strategy at Celigo. “To fulfil these raised expectations, online retailers must improve eCommerce operations, back-office integration and omnichannel selling strategies. This needs to happen well before the Holiday 2024 season begins.

As outlined in the report, there was a significant difference in online shopping sentiment across generations. While one-third of Baby Boomers reported flawless online shopping experiences in 2023, Gen Z, which will hold more than a quarter of global income by 2030 and emerge as the most dominant shopping demographic. Gen Z reported the greatest dissatisfaction with online shopping.

key findings of the report include:

  1. Consumers are frustrated with aspects of online shopping—especially generation Z

Younger shoppers reported higher rates of dissatisfaction with online shopping. 52% of Baby Boomers said online retailers were flawless in delivering on their expectations in the past year. 85% of Gen Z said retailers failed them at least once in the last year. Interestingly, 34% of Baby Boomers said they buy their products in physical retail stores compared to 8% of Gen Z. However, retailers must account for the needs and perceptions of the demographic that will drive sales for the years to come.

  1. Product reviews emerge as the most important factor in the buying decision

While survey respondents use various tools to inform online purchasing decisions, product reviews continue to be the most important feature. Reviews on the retailer’s website outweighing third-party review sites. 60% of consumers rely heavily on product reviews found on retailers’ websites when making their final purchasing decision. 41% turn to third-party review sites. Discerning shoppers are scouring the internet for the best deals and products, with 35% saying they research multiple retailers. More than 20% turning to marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay to compare pricing options.

  1.   For 43% of Gen Z shoppers, TikTok is the primary source of insights

Every demographic spends time researching the best product and personalised deal opportunity before making their purchase. However, the shift from traditional methods is well underway. UK Baby Boomers and Gen X conduct their research primarily on search engines, marketplaces, and in physical stores. Millennials and Gen Z seek out information on social media in much greater numbers.

93% of UK Gen Z respondents said they research products on social media, including 43% turning to TikTok as their primary means of insight. 75% of Millennials leverage search engines for product information. However, 62% open their preferred social media app before using Google or a marketplace.

Enterprise Times: What this means for businesses

Retailers across the globe, irrespective of size and sector are under some serious pressures. They face a proliferation of purchasing options and budget concerns surrounding sustained inflationary pressures and international trade disruption. As a result, online retailers are struggling to meet rising consumer expectations around the globe. Hence the real need for consumers to truly understand the needs and demands of their customers.

The silver lining in the research is the attitudes and buying habits of Gen Z. Interestingly enough, 34% of Baby Boomers said they buy their products in physical retail stores compared to 8% of Gen Z. However, retailers must account for the needs and perceptions of the demographic that will drive sales for the years to come. The report is interesting because it attempts to uncover what drives shoppers in a changing digital world. Furthermore, the report unlocks some interesting insider insights for a winning eCommerce approach for 2024.



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