What factors inspire online consumers to add a product to their basket and make a purchase? And what channels are the most effective in instigating product research, or in re-engaging shoppers who abandon a purchase?
Email marketing specialists Active Campaign recently surveyed over 500 online shoppers to find out what drives their online shopping habits.
In our latest article, we take a look at what this research tells us about what drives online shopping habits
What Drives Online Shopping Habits: Key Findings
The most effective channel for inspiring product research
One of the most important findings was that 23% of people surveyed answered that social media ads were their most frequent source of inspiration when it comes to researching a new product.
With the rise and rise of Facebook, social media ads have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, challenging the dominance of Google in the online advertising space. Social media ads are visually engaging and can be highly targeted, meaning they are a great way of reaching new users with products that match their interests, demographics, and previous online shopping behaviour.
Elsewhere, 21% of respondents listed online and print article mentions as the main driver for their product research, while 15% answered with Television Ads as their inspiration.
The most effective channel for re-engaging abandoned shoppers
Re-engaging abandoned shopping carts is one of the biggest challenges facing online brands and marketers, and the research from Active Campaign brought up some interesting insights into what helps to re-engage this type of shopper.
In response to the question, ‘If you research a product and do not buy immediately, which most frequently inspired you to return to make the purchase’, product mentions in articles online or in print was the most popular response by a significant margin, with 28% responding that seeing a product mentioned online or in print inspired them to return and make a purchase after initial research. Social media ads dropped to second place for this question, with 16% of the response share, closely followed by emails from a brand or store in third place with 15%.
The most effective channel for instigating repeat product purchases
Once an online shopper has passed through the research phase and finally made a purchase, what is the most effective means of inspiring them to make a repeat purchase? In response to this question, 28% of people surveyed replied that an email from a brand or store was the most important medium for them making repeat product purchases. For anyone familiar with online marketing, this certainly makes sense, as, following on from a purchase, a store will be able to send tailored marketing emails directly to a user’s inbox segmented according to their recent purchase history, making repeat purchases highly likely.
In second place, following on from an email from brand or store, a mention in an online or print article was once again a popular response with 18% of the users surveyed. Social media ads, which of course are so effective at remarketing to online shoppers based on previous purchases, was the third most popular response with 14% of the response share.
What Drives Online Shopping Habits: Key Takeaways
So what does this research tell us about how people shop online?
Firstly, it is clear that social media ads play a significant role in driving awareness of new products, in re-engaging abandoned shoppers who have dropped out of the research phase, and even in encouraging shoppers to make repeat purchases.
Secondly, while television ads generally figured in the top 3-4 responses, it was behind social media ads for all questions. When you take into account the huge disparity in advertising costs in these two mediums, it is clear that social media ads offer far greater ROAS for most advertisers than traditional TV advertising.
Thirdly, it may have come as a surprise to some to see online and print articles figure so highly in the responses for each question, particularly in relation to re-engaging abandoned shoppers, where it was the most popular response. This demonstrates the importance that online shoppers place on social proof and authoritative reviews.
Finally, the research conclusively demonstrated that email marketing is the definitive platform for driving repeat purchases. Once personal details have been collected following a successful purchase, email marketing allows brands to send communications directly to existing customers based on their purchase history.
For help reaching your target audience online, contact digital advertising specialists Clark St. James on 01603 343477 or email@example.com. Our team delivers a scalable return on investment for e-commerce companies across the major search and social media advertising channels.