Today’s e-commerce shoppers are accustomed to delays caused by pandemic-related supply chain issues but also expect more every time they place an order. That’s according to “Post-Pandemic E-Commerce Consumer Expectations,” a study released this year by Dotcom Distribution.
The study of 1,150 e-commerce consumers in the United States identifies trends and patterns in purchasing behavior. If you are seeking to increase the e-commerce aspect of your business, pay attention to these trends:
- Embrace sustainability. In this study, 69% of consumers reported eco-friendly packaging would make them most likely to shop with a brand again. (In Dotcom Distribution’s 2021 study, the number was a mere 42%.) In the 2022 study, sustainable packaging beats out free samples and gift-like packaging as incentives for consumers.
- Avoid charging shipping fees. While 72% of those surveyed reported being more tolerant of shipping delays, only 25% said they are more tolerant of shipping costs. Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported abandoning items in their carts if they were presented with surprise shipping charges. Thirteen percent of all the shoppers surveyed won’t even make a purchase if they’re required to pay for shipping.
- Tighten up your omni-channel strategy. Thanks to the pandemic surge in online shopping as well as scheduled, remote, and contactless pickup options, today’s consumers want flexibility, transparency, and convenience across all sales channels. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed reported a change in their shopping behavior due to supply chain issues. Of that number, nearly half now check in-store product availability on websites before going to a physical store.
- Make returns easy. Your returns policy impacts how potential and existing consumers view your company. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed in 2022 said they would not make a purchase from a company that did not have a free return policy. More than half (51%) of all respondents said the experience of a return-less refund would make them want to purchase from a brand again. “This form of emotional branding creates a halo effect that contributes to positive brand perception and sentiment,” says the report.
- Explore alternative business models. About a third of those surveyed had signed up for one or more subscription services and local delivery services. Younger shoppers tend to be more active with subscription services, with the most buyers (46%) aged 30 to 44, followed by shoppers aged 18 to 29 (40%).
Talk to Premier if you’d like to make your packaging more sustainable and/or improve your e-commerce fulfillment.