Where do online shoppers look for product inspiration? Best ways to drive traffic to your online store

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When you sell online, you need to understand your customers. Where do they look for product inspiration and information? What is the most effective triggering factor to making the purchase? The latest report “The Behavior of Online Shoppers Survey 2021” prepared by Epinion and iPaper gives some interesting insights about customers’ online behavior, preferences and inspiration sources. Let’s look at the key findings! 

How to attract new customers to your online store?

If you want to encourage new customers to visit your online store and make a purchase, you have to know where your potential customers are and what they look for. 

The key elements to recognize are:

  • Sources of inspiration about which products to buy – you want to be present there to become one of the options for the potential customers, 
  • Sources of product information – once a customer gets inspired in the first step and wants to learn more about a few chosen products, he might check different websites. If you are the place to go to to learn more about product – you have a big advantage over your competitors, 
  • Triggers to make a purchase – you should learn about the most effective ways of convincing the customer to make a purchase on your website. 

What can we learn about these aspects from the report? 

First of all, customers look for product inspiration online. As many as 63% of respondents admit to doing it often. What’s more, 46% of customers often buy products based on inspiration they get online.  

What are the websites they look for inspiration most often? 

product-inspiration-survey

 Source: The Behavior of Online Shoppers Survey 2021 | iPaper & Epinion

 

As you can see, Amazon is the leader in this field. That’s why it’s important to be present in this sales channel – especially if you sell products that are unique on the market. Learn more from our article: How to start selling on Amazon?

The second source, with 37% of respondents admitting to look for inspiration there, is Google. Customers tend to surf on Google and discover new products. It shows why the investment in SEO is relevant but also – why you should sell your products on Google Shopping. Check: Your offer in Google Shopping – Costs and conditions in a nutshell

Where do customers compare product prices? 

Another question in the survey was about the sources of information about the products prices. It turns out that 49% of respondents use Google to compare product prices. Amazon’s popularity for this purpose is slightly lower – it is used to compare prices by 45% of respondents: 

compare-prices-survey

Source: The Behavior of Online Shoppers Survey 2021 | iPaper & Epinion

 

It means that if you want to attract new customers with relatively low prices or promotions, Google and Amazon are good platforms to go to. We’ve written more about strategies of using traffic generators to drive the traffic to your website from e-commerce platforms in our article about multichannel selling.

How to make sure that the prices you offer on these platforms can generate the traffic? That’s where the price monitoring tool comes in handy. Thanks to it you are always up to date with your competitive positioning for each of your products or product categories on the most important e-commerce platforms. 

How to trigger the purchase? 

Let’s imagine the customer visits your website after seeing your offer, e.g. on Google. Then there is one more step he needs to take: making the purchase. That is, converting into the customer. 

How to achieve it? 

According to the survey, promotions are the most effective way to do it. 70% of respondents agree that promotions trigger their purchase of a product online

How, however, should you know which products to discount and advertise? You can check some hints in our ebook about price management in ecommerce:

 

How to retain online customers? 

Once you inspire an online shopper and encourage him to visit your online store and even make the first purchase, it’s time to think about customer retention and increasing the average order value. 

Customer retention is not easy in e-commerce. It was discussed in an interview with Karsten Holdorf

E-commerce is always mostly price-driven. That’s because you have nearly unlimited choice. You can go on, let’s say, Idealo, sort the offers by the price and you will probably pick the first one that you trust. It has little to do with customer retention – a certain retailer is just one of many.

How to do it then?

First of all, you should make sure that the product information on your website is clear and detailed. You should become the source of information about the products – their specifications, alternatives and advantages and disadvantages. Why is that important? 72% of online shoppers agree with the sentence “I often carefully plan what I buy”; 67% typically do a lot of research before making a purchase. Your website should be a go-to place for product information and recommendations. That’s why more and more online shops position themselves as specialists in a specific area – e.g. notebooki.pl does it in the B2B laptop market. You can read about it in the interview with Artur Makowski

Second of all, remember what customers value at most about shopping online – ease, convenience and price comparison possibilities. Invest in designing attractive customer journeys and in a price monitoring tool to meet these expectations. 

Then, let’s have a look at the elements that can increase the average order value. 64% of respondents said they would want to buy more than one product if the shop offered a free delivery. The other most popular factors increasing the number of purchased products were:

  • A large variety of products (50%)
  • Fast check-out (31%) 
  • Product recommendations (24%) 

If you want to learn more about free delivery and how to maximize the profit from offering it, read our article: Free shipping – how to use it to increase online shop’s earnings?

What products do customers buy online? 

Even if you implement all of the mentioned practices, there are some product categories that customers are more likely to buy online and some of them – less. 

What are they? 

products-bought-online

Source: The Behavior of Online Shoppers Survey 2021 | iPaper & Epinion

 

The most popular product categories bought online are: electronics (60%), clothing (59%), books (51%) and beauty products (36%). 

To let you know more about those industries, we have prepared the following articles describing their e-commerce growth and challenges related to pricing:

Summary

If you sell products online, you should make sure that you are able to be a source of inspiration for customers, provide them with reliable product information and trigger the purchases. To achieve that, two elements are crucial: presence on such platforms as Amazon and Google and offering detailed product information and promotions

All the statistics in this article come from The Behavior of Online Shoppers Survey 2021 published by iPaper & Epinion. It is based on approx. 6,000 interviews performed in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and France.