Consumers are always shopping and eager for your help

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Sara Kleinberg September 2018 Search, Consumer Insights, Omnichannel

By now it’s clear that the internet has revolutionized the shopping experience for both consumers and marketers. With the prevalence of smartphones and spread of wi-fi, consumers are always shopping.

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Consider this: 86% of Canadians are shopping for something at any given time period and in up to five different categories.1 And more than half of  Canadian shoppers say they started their shopping online.2

Canadian consumers need help

Shopping across so many categories can be overwhelming for people. In other words, they’re going to need as much help as possible, which provides brands an opportunity to get into the consideration set early on.

Consider finding ways to help overwhelmed shoppers keep track of items they’ve researched.

Marketers should always make the research process as easy as possible along the entire journey. That means being present — and useful — throughout the process. Consider finding ways to help overwhelmed shoppers keep track of items they’ve researched. Forty-four percent of Canadian shoppers keep some sort of digital list, whether via smartphone, laptop, app, or digital assistant.1

Creating pre-populated lists is also a good way for marketers to go, because shoppers are increasingly seeking them out. Mobile searches in Canada for shopping lists have grown by over 180% in the past two years. For example: “Christmas shopping list,” “keto shopping list,” “baby shopping list,” and “whole 30 shopping list.”

Canadian consumers are brand-agnostic

One of the other key challenges (and opportunities) is that most people don’t have a strong brand preference during the early stages of shopping.

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One of the most eye-grabbing data points is that nearly 9 out of 10 Canadians are not absolutely certain of the brand they want to buy when they begin looking for information online via their smartphones.3

And there’s a growing trend of shoppers starting with a blank brand slate. Literally. Mobile searches for “____ brands” have risen over the past two years. Some examples:   

  • “sock brands” +150% 
  • “men’s watch brands” +70% 
  • “best purse brands” +140% 
  • “makeup brands” +150%.4

Retailers and brands should focus on helping shoppers get the information they need to make decisions and enable them to purchase where and when they want to, whether that’s making it easy to buy online or letting them know that physical locations have the item in stock.

Canadian consumers are quick to bail

We’ve written before about the importance of fast-loading sites and apps. But speed isn’t the only factor that causes shoppers to bail. Relevant, easy-to-find information is crucial to keeping them. In fact, more than half of Canadian smartphone users (55%) have purchased from a company other than the one they’d originally intended to use because the information provided by another brand was more useful.5

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Or, putting it in a more positive light, 76% of Canadian smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps help them easily find answers to their questions.5

What can you do to make the digital shopping journey easier? We mentioned lists above. But you should also consider simple things like letting them pick up where they left off and ensuring the check-out process is fast and efficient. Thirty-nine percent of Canadian shoppers expect to be able to pick up where they left off when they return to a retailer site.6 And 59% expect their shopping and billing information to be remembered and filled in automatically when they return to a retailer site they’ve shopped with before.6

If people are turning to their smartphones at the very top of the funnel, anything retailers and brands can do to help them keep better track of items they may want to purchase later will be positively received by shoppers. And you just might be able to guide them all the way through the customer journey to conversion.

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