The Global Shopper: Consumer Behaviour and your Online Store

The internet has opened up a world of online shopping. We now have almost limitless possibilities for purchasing goods, from anywhere in the world, and consumer behaviour trends have evolved to embrace this opportunity.

If a product or service exists, a consumer can find it online. We have become global shoppers, shopping in any country, in any currency, shipping across the oceans. All it takes is a few clicks, and that gadget from Malaysia or designer handbag from Europe or rare book from the USA is already on its way to our doorstep.

Australian businesses have a huge opportunity to capitalise on the global online shopping phenomenon, but there are challenges to creating a successful online store. The key is to really understand consumer behavior, and use that understanding to create a shopping experience that is as enjoyable, hassle-free and rewarding as possible.

Consumer behaviour

Australia has been one of the quickest countries to embrace the internet and online shopping, and this is reflected in some key consumer behavior trends:

24/7 media merging

Many consumers browse the internet at the same time as watching TV. Multi-tasking and media-merging makes us 24/7 consumers, and new devices such as Apple Mac Mini are increasingly responding to this.

Price-comparison

 More than ever, people are using the internet as their key means of product research and price-matching. Consumers will compare prices of similar products across different sites, using specially-designed apps, aggregator sites like myshopping.com.au, and their own browsing skills.

Overseas shopping

 Australian consumers are actively seeking goods worldwide. Even when an international online store doesn’t distribute to Australia, it’s easy to use a professional goods relay service like hopshopgo.com.

Setting up your online store

More and more retailers large and small are realising the importance of having an online store. In today’s digital climate, it’s almost essential. Allowing shoppers to view and purchase your products online gives you great marketing opportunities. For one thing, it means your target market can access your store at any hour of the day, from anywhere in the world. And if you set it up right, it can provide a convenient, hassle-free shopping experience that will bring visitors back again and again.

Case study of a successful online store

The challenge for online stores is to recreate the warmth and experience of a physical retail outlet. This is particularly important for boutique goods, where the atmosphere is a key part of the shopping experience. But with a bit of creative thinking, it’s certainly possible to create an online space that offers this experience. In fact, online features can even be used to enhance user experience and build brand loyalty.

One of our clients is an online fashion boutique selling women’s clothing and accessories, and they have been very successful in creating an engaging online shopping experience. Here are a few key features that help create this:

Quality content

The store releases a new seasonal campaign and range twice a year, putting together some beautiful fashion shoots with incredible, professional shots and a great concept behind them.

Regular re-skins

These photos are used in large scale on the site, with a seasonal colour palette. This means the website can easily be re-skinned to fit the season and each campaign’s aesthetic. For a fashion boutique, keeping in style is essential, and this client has found a successful solution.

Email campaign

Regular email newsletters are sent out to members using these feature photos, resulting in an immediate jump in sales each time.

‘Behind the Scenes’ section

This is a great feature they have included, giving their visitors a backstage look at the process that has gone into each campaign. This creates a more intimate experience that makes the visitor feel included and close to the action.

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