Online shopping insight from two decades of research

The world's largest privately held digital commerce agency, Astound Commerce, released a recent report that measured two decades of eCommerce growth. The report has highlighted what has made the biggest impact on customer experience by analysing 281 metrics across 100 retailers.

The results are in…

Enhancing customers' online shopping experience

Many features that were once game changers, offering a novel online shopping experience, have come to be expected as a common service such as…

1. Alternative Payment Options
Back in 2007 PayPal was on 22% of online shopping websites. Today, 83 out of the top 100 retailers offer PayPal reinforcing speed and efficiency as the main point of concern for the Omnichannel shopper.

2. Real-Time Inventory
24% of companies offered the option to know what’s in stock back in 1999. Today 95% of retailers show product availability. Stagnant inventory has been said said to be brick-and-mortar’s biggest downfall and the reason why it can’t keep up with a Digitally Native Vertical Brand.

3. Post-Purchase Features
Post-order services such as product recommendations related to a past purchase was initially offered on 38% of sites in 2003, and is now offered on 90%. Reinforcing this was a study by GSK which showed that 89% of people claimed that a retailer’s ability to remind customers of past purchases was one out of the top two reasons they shopped online.

Enhancing the customers' overall digital experience

As the modern day shopper’s path to purchase has changed, a set of eCommerce best practices have emerged. The top three which have continued to delight customers have seen brands implement them at a staggering rate. They are...

1. Product Visualisation
Alternative views and colour options existed on up to 13% of retail sites. Today, these features can be found on up to 96% percent of sites.

2. Customer Reviews
In 2005 32% of retail sites were hosting reviews in comparison to now where 94% do. With the rise of social media, customer reviews have also come to be one of the most critical factors in building both brand reputation and sales.

3. Product Personalisation
Personalisation and shopping cart recommendations were being practiced by 44% of the eCommerce market, it’s shot up to 90%.

The current eCommerce experience is almost unrecognisable from that of 20 years ago. With next-generation features such as chatbots, virtual reality, the digitisation of brick-and-mortar, and the dominance of disruptors like Amazon and Alibaba we anticipate the commerce experience will continue to change dramatically over the next five years.
— Lauren Freedman, Digital Strategist, Astound Commerce

For the full report see here.

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