The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index dropped by 2.1 points this week, down to 77.7. The index has now spent ten straight weeks below the 80 mark. This pattern indicates the longest stretch below 80 since the index began its weekly reporting in October 2008.
The fall came amidst growing concern about Australia’s economy and followed the RBA’s latest quarter-percent interest rate rise.
However, it’s not all bad news for online retailers.
Putting Experiences In-Line with Expectations
Ecommerce and multichannel brands innovated throughout COVID to bring next-level shopping experiences to consumers. As a result, those shoppers’ expectations have evolved accordingly, and in 2023, the online buyer journey is more about the experience than ever before.
Even though many shoppers have less available cash than last year, those making considered purchases are still doing so online. For example, A Feb 2023 PwC report shows that 69% of consumers have changed non-essential spending in the past six months. However, 43% also plan to increase online shopping in the next six months.
Convincing shoppers to spend more is a tall order for any ecommerce marketing team right now. However, online retailers can give cash-strapped consumers added confidence in their online purchase decisions – by delivering end-to-end shopping experiences that are fast and customer-focused.
Simplifying and Speeding Up the Experience
Fullstory reports that 83% of consumers say what makes a “good” digital experience is being able to “quickly accomplish what I came to do”. Retailers can help their customers do exactly that – more easily than you may realise.
Well-structured product filters (or faceted search) and intelligent on-site search capability can help shoppers find and purchase the right products faster – and get back to what they were doing outside of shopping.
Take a look at how your filter and search capability performs, how you’re analysing and using data and shopper insights, and how you can enhance your options to create a smooth search and filtering experience for your customers.
The Personalisation that Shoppers Desire
Providing a personalised experience is now desired by 53% of shoppers, as shown in the Australia Post 2023 Inside Australian Online Shopping report linked below. Just like the products they’re purchasing, customers aren’t excited by a “one size fits all” approach to finding those items.
Online retailers can leverage innovative technology to learn from shopper behaviours and serve personalised product recommendations. You can also include these personalised recommendations in promotional and abandon-cart email campaigns to keep consumers coming back on-site.
Driving Home the Experience in the Last Mile
Not forgetting the last-mile experience, 29% of shoppers expect deliveries to arrive faster than in pre-pandemic times (2019), as revealed in the same Australia Post report. Additionally, the 2023 State of Shipping and Returns report published by Körber reveals critical insights into shopper expectations of the last-mile experience. For example, 93% of consumers want proactive shipping and delivery updates, though only 40% are receiving them. Minor issues like a lack of updates can majorly impact the experience. The same report also shows that 84% of shoppers never return after one poor delivery experience.
If your current fulfilment process results in order delays and a lack of proactive delivery notification, consider whether it’s time to explore a 3PL (third-party logistics) solution. 3PL can also be a perfect solution for ecommerce start-ups who don’t have the warehouse space or staff to deliver the post-purchase experience shoppers desire.
Online Retailers who provide fast, accurate delivery of products can leave every shopping experience on a positive note – and keep those customers coming back.
Making the Experience Work for Your Ecommerce Store
While price is a growing concern for consumers, the overall shopping experience can make or break your chance of turning those buyers into loyal repeat customers. Of course, it takes considerable time and effort across various touchpoints (including many more outside of this article) to gain your customers’ loyalty.
As online retailers continue to innovate, consumers will continue to evolve. Keeping pace can keep those customers coming back. However, it can take just one poor experience across all touchpoints to shatter your shoppers’ opinion of your brand.
Fortunately, solutions exist to help navigate complex consumer demands. Your ecommerce tech stack is the perfect place to start.
Ecommerce technologies offer efficient ways to analyse, enhance, and automate the many moving parts of the online buyer journey. With the right technology, you can better weather future dips in consumer confidence – by cementing shoppers’ confidence in your brand.
If you’d like further ideas on solutions to boost the on-site or post-purchase experiences, drop me a line. I work closely with clients in the ecommerce technology space who offer award-winning search, merchandising and personalisation solutions and 3PL services.
See more detail in the reports referenced, including:
PwC February 2023 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey
Australia Post 2023 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report
Körber 2023 State of Shipping and Returns Report