E-commerce Is Changing- This Is Why

In a recent roundup of predictions from the #BizHeroes community, I mentioned the need for brands to understand the relationship that ties them to their advocates and customers.

Whether we want it or not, technology has made people savvier. They now have more choices than ever. And they will take advantage of them.

Look at the state of search for example. In 2014, on Google alone, we conducted 5.74 billion queries every single day! With four in 10 online shoppers starting product research via search engines, it is no wonder organic traffic is so vital to e-commerce sites.

In an increasingly competitive social media world, how can a marketer or a brand stand out? Read this roundup for some answers.

Do You Know What Your Customers Want?

Recently, Lithium Technologies surveyed thousands of adults in the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Australia to get a better picture of consumer behaviors. The study, titled “Do You Know What Your Customers Want,” reveals that before purchasing anything, people will browse an average of three sites.

The most cautious are the French, who stop by 3.52 sites, while consumers in the U.S. can be considered more impulsive (2.3 sites). Age-wise, younger shoppers (ages 18-44) are usually more inquisitive than their older counterparts.

“Perhaps it’s the result of shorter attention spans or simply a greater level of comfort using technology to hunt down essential information. (Or it could be that younger shoppers have less disposable income—so we’ll have to pursue some of these ideas in follow-up surveys.)” says the study.

When they conduct research, one of the only things that sways the balance is positive reviews. Without them, a product loses its appeal for a majority of people: more than 7 in 10 U.S., British, and French adults; and more than 6 in 10 German and Australian adults.

This is especially important if you target the Millennial crowd: 70% will not even consider buying if they don’t see a good recommendation. At 85%, the 25-34 age group in Great Britain is a notable exception.

The second best form of advertising comes from family and friends. This is not news, of course. However, the survey reveals that consumers are increasingly relying on them, especially in Germany, the U.S., and Great Britain. And people expect “some sort of validation before making big purchases.”

Now, what happens when they cannot find the information they are looking for? They might pick up the phone. However, it’s seen as a last-resort solution by two-thirds of U.S., British, and Australian consumers, and almost 75% of the French.

The study is available for free here.

Gender, Left-Handedness, and Generational Browsing

Do you know that left-handed people take 20% longer to click than right-handers? They also click less and mostly use the left part of the menu section.

Those are the results of a recent study conducted by Content Square. The agency observed how 4,000 French people browsed 20 e-commerce websites to understand behavioral differences.

Gender-wise, women are usually more active than men. They click more, check out more pages, and are slightly more impulsive (7%) when purchasing something. They are also picture-oriented while men are detail-oriented.

If you believe that Millennials and older adults (45-64 years old) have different browsing habits, think again. According to the study, the latter visit only 4% fewer pages. They just take longer to click.

Takeaway: To ensure the best user experience on your website, take the time to understand browsing patterns via heat map tools. I recommend ClickTale or Crazy Egg.

You will gain a lot of insights from tracking eye movement. Check out Single Grain’s infographic below for more information.

101 on Eye Tracking: How Your Eyes Move on a Website Infographic
via Single Grain

To read the study, click here.

In Other News

Get ready for a better search experience on LinkedIn. You can now get results based on connections, companies or groups, find information on outside-of-network profiles (formerly only available to Premium members), and discover interesting content like posts and SlideShare decks.

LinkedIn is also working on new tools that would allow employers and employees to connect and communicate via the social network.

Twitter wants to release a new home page for logged-out visitors. It would include paid products.

Indiegogo launched InDemand, a service that allows winning campaign creators to “seamlessly transition into the next phase of operations, including accepting product pre-orders, customer acquisition and earnings growth.”

Facebook’s Internet.org is now available in Colombia. The app gives users free access to many services in the areas of education, finance, health, communication, job, and local information.

Facebook has made some of its Artificial Intelligence tools, related to deep-learning, available to Torch users.

Facebook at Work is here. According to Re/code, the workplace tool can only be used by a select group of partners for the moment.

Google Domains is now open to all U.S. users.

Do you know that social media profiles are now displayed in Google Search results? This feature requires the embedding of structured markup on a website to work.

Google Search social profiles

See you next Monday for another must-read roundup!

Cendrine Marrouat
Paper.li Blog Staff Writer, Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born social media coach, curator, and author. She is the founder of Social Media Slant and the #smslantchat Twitter chat. Her latest e-book release, "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", is a comprehensive guide focusing on the four pillars of audience building. Follow her on Google+.

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