As the pandemic unfolded and the effects on e-commerce began to rise, ChannelAdvisor realized that, to fully understand what was happening in our industry, it would be necessary to measure the impact in real time. So we partnered with leading global research firm Dynata to conduct periodic global surveys of online consumers and monitor changing behavior.
What we’ve found, so far, is significant differences in several areas. And it’s becoming clear that these changes will linger, to a varying degree, and will continue to shape the industry far into the future.
Most recently, we checked in with 1,000 consumers in the US (a part of a total of 5,000 consumers across the globe) in August to find out what their perspectives are, how they’re planning to conduct their holiday shopping and what their outlook is on the future.
What Shoppers Are Thinking
Compared to consumer responses in May 2020, shoppers were shopping online more frequently than before the pandemic (59% now; 46% in May 2020) and are feeling increasingly confident in their online shopping activities (32% currently; 20% in May 2020). Overall, more than one-third of consumers indicated they’ve bought one or more products online that they hadn’t purchased online before the pandemic.
And while several of the areas discussed in the survey revealed insights, such as where products are being discovered and what factors most influenced shoppers during their buying journey, perhaps the most interesting results come to the surface when the responses are analyzed by demographic.
For example, 59% of 35- to 45-year-olds indicated price was the biggest influence in their purchasing decisions — but 18- to 25-year-olds cited buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) options as the biggest influence on their purchase. Fifty-one percent of 18- to 25-year-olds have “discovered” the products they purchased on social media sites. However, when it comes to holiday shopping, 74% of 36- to 45-year-olds plan to do the majority of their purchasing on Amazon this year.
What Shoppers Are Planning
Ultimately, all signs point to growth in e-commerce activity into the future. As emergency measures initially forced many into online shopping, those tentative steps into online purchasing morphed over time into ingrained habits of convenience. In May 2020, 38% of shoppers said they planned to shop online more often after the pandemic. Now? Well over half (52%) plan to shop more often online into the future.
Want to learn more? Check out our infographic that summarizes several findings from our most recent survey results for more details about how shoppers are discovering products, what factors cause them to abandon carts, how they plan to shop for the holidays, and more. And if you’d like to take a deeper dive into the survey results, watch the webinar Navigating Online Consumer Behavior: 2021 E-Commerce Trends and Forecasts, available on demand.