Online shopping has surged since the 2020 Covid pandemic first hit Australian shores. When Pureprofile and IAB conducted a national survey of online shopping behavior over the past 12 months, the report found that most shoppers were not new to online shopping, but their use of it had increased significantly.
By Pureprofile CEO Martin Filz.
Pureprofile Managing Director Martin Filz.
Many of the consumer shifts seen during the pandemic will remain, even as we emerge from lockdowns. 84% of those who shopped online more in 2020 due to Covid shopped online either the same amount or more often in 2021. Only 36% of respondents plan to return to physical shopping. Even consumers who enjoy the in-person experience are likely to remain online shoppers for some categories.
The blind spot for retailers in a digital world
Online consumer migration has made the competitive landscape increasingly opaque. Brick and mortar retailers can no longer check prices and sales across the street or count footfall in retail areas. Casual face-to-face interaction and random feedback from customers are also off the table as most people continue to order online – especially around major holidays and events.
Retailers live on data. While data about their existing customers can provide a rich vein of demographic behavior and browsing/buying patterns, there's a massive blind spot for retailers looking to expand. It's hard to know which products and services need to be adjusted and added, or which sales tactics and marketing campaigns would attract new customer segments if you can't see them.
Advances at ResTech are helping to give retailers clearer insight into consumer behavior. With access to large, representative panels, marketers can find out who they're not reaching and why. Panels can be used to create in-depth profiles of consumers and enable businesses to understand, target and ultimately connect with their audiences.
A key factor in staying ahead of the competition is getting answers quickly, easily, and affordably. Existing panels allow for this instead of creating a poll and waiting weeks for responses. Retailers need continuous, even real-time data in a volatile economy.
Pureprofile recently researched what Australians were looking to buy ahead of Christmas. A representative sample of over 1000 panel members was surveyed to find out what people wanted, what they wanted to buy and how much they were willing to spend. 43% of Australians were hoping for gift cards this Christmas and 23% were looking forward to a technology-based gift. Almost half (46%) of all Australians bought their gifts online and most (69%) did so well before December.
With this type of research available to brands, they can not only improve retail product and promotional offerings, but also increase customer retention and satisfaction with improved e-commerce services.
First Party Data
Another way retailers can fill in the gaps is by deriving competitive intelligence from other sources, such as transactional data. There are Restech solutions that give retailers access to first-party data and allow them to understand their position relative to identified competitors.
Retailers can then leverage demographic and geographic data to identify consumer and market trends faster than ever. Within seconds, a report could be generated that breaks down sales geographically from the start day of a Christmas promotion and compares them to competitor sales. This knowledge can then be used as a basis for a variety of decisions, such as B. Immediate increase in social media advertising budget in regions where a competitor's products are top-selling. As the digital migration to online shopping is here to stay, ecommerce strategies are more important than ever. Even when customers return to physical stores, they don't do so in the same numbers or in the same way. The ability to work with customers towards something better is at the heart of any retailer's future. And that requires good data: information that is immediate, accurate, and relevant.