Where online business used to be laughed over years ago, in today’s digital age it is more in focus than ever before. A company that operates without an online shop, web presence or social media channel? Not imaginable anymore! In 2019, customers will be confronted with a multitude of products, content and services on a wide variety of channels on the Internet. These are only a few clicks away!

For this reason, they make lively use of all the possibilities of the World Wide Web, prefer everything and at once, and thus become more and more ” as both and as customers “. Search for offers with both mobile phone and laptop? -Why not?!

But don’t worry: We’ll show you in this article how your users really tick today and how you can best respond to their shopping needs!

1) Without ratings – without me

For purchases in stationary retail, customers rely on the recommendations of sales consultants and trust the word-of-mouth propaganda of friends, colleagues and acquaintances of service providers. Online, however, users prefer to go on extensive online research.

For nine out of ten respondents (93%) in a For purchases in stationary retail, customers rely on the recommendations of sales consultants and trust the word-of-mouth propaganda of friends, colleagues and acquaintances of service providers. Online, however, users prefer to go on extensive online research.

For nine out of ten respondents (93%) in a Bitkom study, this has a decisive influence on the purchase decision. This is because customers use the Internet as a source of information before pressing the buy button. Users attach particular importance to product evaluations, as a study by the management consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners shows. Worldwide, 71% of consumers consider them important or even very important. If the ratings are also largely positive, 20% of users are willing to buy more. Likewise 20% take it even to the cause of spending more money for well evaluated products.

So make sure you use the power of the ratings and ask your customers actively for their opinion. Since internal solutions for customer reviews often arouse the suspicion that they could be glossed over or faked, you should rely on reputable providers.

Best Practice: The online retailer for fashion Aboutyou.de, for example, uses the Trusted Shops rating system for ratings. Here buyers have the opportunity to share their experience with the company and give potential customers a platform for authentic, trustworthy information.

2) Social Commerce promotes impulse buying

Being successful without maintaining social media networks? Unimaginable in online commerce today! Why? Because in Germany alone around 38 million people are regularly on the move on social media channels. Worldwide the usage is even 45%! 

Especially with regard to impulse buying, the platforms help customers to spontaneously achieve their shopping happiness. According to a Bitkom study 83% of 14-29 year olds stated that they only became aware of a product through social media, which they bought afterwards.

social media facebook watching

Because in a world in which the Instagram platform already presents itself with an in-app shopping function and thus turns bloggers into sellers in no time at all, or in which the online pinboard Pinterest is increasingly becoming the marketplace for furniture & designs, online retailers should definitely keep an eye on the trend towards the fusion of e-commerce and social media. It remains exciting!

Best Practice: The fashion label Diesel is currently daring a test in Spain that links offline shopping with the online life of shoppers. With installed touchscreens the potential buyer should log in to Facebook and take pictures with the corresponding camera. The photo will then be published in their own Facebook stream, together with the question: “Hey, how do you like my new shirt?

3) Omnichannel: It’s all about the mix

The “both and the same” behaviour typical of modern consumers is reflected in the relationship between e-commerce and traditional ordering methods. Nowadays, users surf all available channels and switch between online, offline, iPad and laptop.

A simple example: customers are on a stroll through town and are busy bagging new autumn fashions in a store of their choice. Arriving at home, they realize that their shoes can’t get out of their heads after all. No problem: as the store has an online shop, they can be ordered conveniently from their mobile phones. But since it’s already late, they open the shop the next morning with their laptop and find the shoes in their shopping cart. Such a customer journey is quite normal in times of situational consumption.

For this reason, companies should definitely consider an omnichannel strategy in order to ensure a uniform customer experience on all channels. This is because with customer-oriented and cross-channel concepts that offer the customer added value at every point of contact, online and offline retail merge to form a harmonious unit.

Experts from Zalando, konversionsKRAFT, LEROI Consulting and DAA will tell you which tips and tricks you can use to guarantee an excellent customer experience in addition to your Omnichannel strategy.

est practice: Tchibo also provides its customers with an all-round comfortable coffee experience. First, the perfect coffee bean can be searched for using an app by setting personal preferences using various filters. The app’s shopping cart stores this information, which is then immediately available with every new purchase. The delivery options are flexible: beans can be delivered to a shop as “Click & Collect” or ordered home.

shopping situations

4) Influence of situational data

Due to the dynamic and mobile economy, the shopping behaviour of the population is becoming more and more situational: people are “always on” with smartphones and tablets and shop whenever they want. Even the slightest inspiration or opportunity is used to “just” place an order in the online shop. Demand and desire depend very much on the respective purchase situation.

This becomes clear when shopping in the supermarket: on Monday morning on the way to work, customers tend to buy a fresh roll and a hot cup of coffee. In the same supermarket, however, they tend to look for a hearty dinner on a Friday afternoon after work. This can also be applied to shopping in the online shop. For this reason, it is almost indispensable for online merchants to consider situation data. These can reveal a great deal about the current needs and interests of customers. Leading online shops are already actively using this information.

Best Practice: Cosmetics giant asambeauty uses situationalization of ODOSCOPE and thus takes into account all user attributes. Based on this, only the most individually relevant products are displayed at various points of the online shop. This is our Case Study:

5) Subscription commerce as a customer loyalty option

Customers tend to be loyal. This can be seen in the shopping worlds of the large retailers. They fulfill customer wishes, subjectively felt, quickly and at reasonable prices. For many customers, the attractive price is still a decision criterion, which is why large online retailers have a clear advantage.

However, the small online retailer is just as able to inspire customers of himself permanently. This is possible, for example, through so-called subscription commerce, also known as “subscription-based” e-commerce. From razor blades, diapers, clothing and cosmetics to cooking boxes, there is no limit to the variety of products. Through the monthly payment of a fixed amount, the customer receives the desired product in return according to agreement – completely without effort, always at the same time and can be cancelled monthly.

Best Practice: The supplier HelloFresh is particularly well known for this business model, where customers receive all ingredients for pre-selected dishes conveniently delivered to their homes. With this subscription, customers are able to cook fresh food several times a week without having to put a lot of effort into it. If there is no longer a need, boxes can simply be paused or cancelled monthly.

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