In our most recent Prosumers research, we have uncovered key findings for brands and e-merchants about evolving expectations regarding the customer experience.
Throughout the pandemic, e-commerce has established itself as the new retail norm. More than 8 in 10 Prosumers tell us they prefer the online shopping experience to traditional forms of purchasing. But as e-commerce continues to grow and evolve, it might have lost its luster, with 1 out of 3 respondents claiming, “Buying online is convenient, but most of my e-commerce experiences are really boring.”
The new rules of e-commerce
COVID-19’s impact has placed enormous pressure on e-tailers to upgrade their services: free shipping & returns, fast delivery, and easily accessed customer ratings have become a basic cost of entry.
But to make a difference, nice-to-haves have emerged, including loyalty discounts, recommendations based on past purchases, and offering a variety of payment options.
Brands still have an opportunity to compete not just on convenience and flexibility but on inspiration and experience. Nearly half of Prosumers (47%) would like to be able to create “inspiration boards on-site.”
Purpose beyond clicks
E-commerce is no longer just about business transactions; it’s about customer empowerment.
Consumers now expect tech companies such as Alibaba or Amazon to do right for society and the planet.
For example, over 8 in 10 Prosumers (83%) want to see more eco-friendly packaging, while around half (51%) expect delivery services to be as green as possible.
Operating on the right side of data privacy
Privacy is a top priority for respondents, not only for themselves but for their children as they avoid sharing their data on the internet and are prepared to boycott brands that are overly intrusive.
So, what’s the new trade-off? Prosumers are willing to share their data with brands provided they get something in return, such as better customer service (45% agreed) or financial compensation (53%).
Will e-commerce move to social in the end?
Today, we know that 10 of e-commerce sales in China are done through live video shopping. Is China paving the way for social commerce everywhere else in the world?
Almost 6 in 10 Prosumers (57%) agreed that “being able to shop directly on social media will make the experience more fun.” But there’s a big condition for success : if e-commerce becomes social commerce, influencers will need to rebuild trust: Although 60% of Prosumers enjoy discovering and buying new products recommended by the influencers they follow, nearly 3 in 4 feel influencers on social media have become “sales machines.” Most Prosumers (84%) “want influencers to be held responsible for the products/services they recommend.”
With that in mind, live shopping may have a promising future.