8 Online Consumer Behaviors That Still Stand True in 2021

There seemed to be an unofficial memo as it clocked midnight on the 31st of December. Somehow, most of us hoped the pandemic would fade away. Not only did it not disappear, but it also had the gall to produce a new strain.

 

Today, it is uncertain that things will ever be as they once were. Physical interaction and commerce are fast fading into the background. It is highly probable that in the future, pandemic or not, online shopping will be the norm for everyone.

 

The increase in demand for online services has come with a corresponding increase in the number of online businesses and service providers. Of course, this increase in eCommerce is accelerated by the effect of the pandemic on the livelihood of the common citizen.

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Employees who are over 45 have seen the most impact on their employment. Almost a quarter have had their jobs suspended temporarily or permanently.

 

With all the unprecedented shifts in the world that 2020 brought, it’s important to analyze the way consumers have changed. Be it how they shop, where they shop and what they are looking for. 

 

There is also a need to study the eCommerce consumer trends that determine why one product or service is picked over another. Here, we discuss eight online consumer shopping behaviors that will help you predict customer reactions to your product or service in 2021.  

 

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1. Page Aesthetics is Important to Online Consumers

 

When shopping online, the first contact between a potential customer and an online seller is the business’ website. This first impression, for many customers, can make or break the entire shopping experience.

 

Your page should have the ability to pull its viewer in without distracting them from the content it holds.

 

A closer look at eCommerce trends in 2021 shows that colors, font, and design are key to a consumer’s experience. With a focus on these three keywords, designing an aesthetically pleasing website should be easier.

 

The theme of your website or social media page must remain consistent from start to finish. Any abrupt changes in style may be accompanied by a corresponding change in customer approval.

 

It is due to this reason that many Instagram vendors stick to one theme for a while. Even when they do change, it is a subtle, gradual process.

Now, sticking to one theme may seem monotonous and boring. But the solution to that is simple. For starters, your theme should not be so rigid in the first place.

 

The selection of a theme is, therefore, the most important hurdle. A theme that is soft, warm, and accommodating of other colors, is the perfect theme for your website. It just might be what sets your business apart from the numerous competitors on the web.

 

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2. Consumers Always Go for Easier Operation and Functionality

 

Providing ease of use is key to overcoming the setbacks of online transactions. Ease of operation is the digital equivalent of fluency of speech in physical commerce.

 

And as a skilled orator quickly wins over his audience, so does a well-planned eCommerce platform convince the online buyer. Not only does it make communication seamless, but it also speaks well of your company. Top-notch functionality assures the consumer their purchases are in good hands.

 

With advancements in technology, it has become possible to ensure swift communication between buyer and seller without putting extra strain on the seller. Achieving this is possible through the use of robotic process automation and other tech solutions.

 

These bots can process simple commands such as replying to a text message, or more complex instructions like analyzing user behavior. With this level of functionality, it is possible to bridge the link between an unavailable seller and an impatient buyer.

Although point of sales systems were popularly used for physical transactions, they have also proved their dynamicity by adapting to the digital field as well.

 

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With a POS, you can track and organize payment data. It’s also possible to get an accurate inventory of the products being sold both online and physically. It serves as the perfect interface for a business run both online and in a physical store.

 

So you see, consumers want to be able to carry out transactions on your eCommerce website seamlessly. Thankfully, you have the technology to provide that experience. All you have to do is leverage it!

 

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3. The Customer Experience is Key

 

At the core of every shopping experience lies a customer’s level of satisfaction. 43% of US online adults shop with brands that prioritize convenience. They also opt for products that enhance speed and ease, while reducing effort.

 

Online customer service should be quick and reliable. While this is still within the basic work ethics expected of every physical business establishment, it’s more important for online businesses. You must always find ways to improve customer experience.

 

The pandemic ushered more Millennials and even Gen X into the world of digitized marketing.

 

To cater to their needs, customers deem it the responsibility of the online marketer to create an interface where transactions are neither complex nor slow. Where there are issues, providing fast customer support through social media is important.

 

The use of intelligent call routing to redirect and organize inbound calls for faster communication can heighten customer experiences. It affords you an easy way to organize information without keeping the buyer waiting for too long.

 

Choosing the right customer service app is no trivial matter. It affects whether or not your buyers will return for a second purchase, or even put in a kind word for you when your business comes up in private discussions.

 

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4. Consumers Want Value for Money

 

In 2021, customers want to know they are paying for a product or service that is well worth the price. Trends in recent post-pandemic times have shown that consumers tend to focus less on quantity and more on quality.

 

It is therefore imperative to convince the buyer the virtual service rendered or product offered is worth every penny of its price.

 

Many consumers are willing to try a new product if it comes at a lower price. However, they won’t if the product comes at a lower quality.

 

Simple ways to prove to your potential buyers that “what you see is what you get’’ is by posting reviews from previous customers. Product photography is also key to eCommerce success.

 

Aesthetically pleasing images that show off all product features will foster a buying relationship with customers.

 

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5. Social Marketing is Important for Online Commerce

 

Getting your business out there may seem easy in this day and age, but it is also very easy to go about it the wrong way. A proper marketing strategy with set goals is important.

 

Perhaps more important is defining how you would like to be introduced to your audience. This goes a long way in securing future customers. Instead of being everywhere with little impact at all, learn how to come up with meaningful marketing objectives

 

The use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can exponentially multiply your audience. In their 2020 social media report, GlobalWebIndex determined that up to 42% of internet users use social media to find out more information about a brand. Hence, it’s important you have an active social media presence.

 

 

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6. Customers Want an Omnichannel Experience

 

As lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, many online consumers are torn between returning to normal physical activities and staying at home for health reasons.

 

For this reason, they are more comfortable shopping from online sources. But they also want online stores that also have physical locations they can visit, should they decide to take the bold step. This is what the omnichannel experience is all about.

 

A quick Google search of “what is omnichannel customer service? - best practices” will show that it’s in essence a marketing strategy. This strategy means eCommerce businesses have to make provisions to allow a user access their online store through a variety of devices.

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Essentially, this form of customer service allows a customer to start shopping on one platform and finish on another seamlessly.

 

For instance, a customer should be able to check out a product using their laptop in their home office. Then, they want to be able to seamlessly finish the purchase later in the day while surfing with a mobile phone.

 

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7. Consumers Value Trust and Loyalty

 

Authenticity, clear labeling, and transparent origin of product source can influence consumer purchasing behavior. These three factors help to foster a customer’s trust in a brand. And, brand trust is super important.

 

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 Special Report, 81% of correspondents who participated in a survey reported brand trust as a top five consideration for purchase decisions.

 

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Privacy is another factor that fosters brand trust and loyalty. In today’s digital world, privacy is a rare concept. As a result, consumers value businesses that can offer them that.

 

So, to build a successful eCommerce brand, it is important to gain the loyalty of your audience by ensuring their data privacy and confidentiality.

 

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8. Consistency Will Get You on the Side of Online Consumers

 

An analysis of consumer habits shows they are more likely to patronize a business page if it feels familiar. It may seem like your page is getting little traffic right now, but Rome wasn’t built in a pandemic.

 

To create a brand that withstands the test of time, it is important to be consistent and to carry your audience along.

 

The best part is you can achieve this regardless of your choice of marketing platform. For instance, with an email client application, you can organize emails sent to subscribers without compromising their information.

 

Blog posts that inculcate SEO best practices are another effective way to keep your online audience engaged.

 

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Consumer Habits are the Key to Success in eCommerce

 

Whether you’re taking your first dive into eCommerce or you’re looking to switch up your strategy, observing consumer habits is important for success.

Here, we have discussed eight consumer habits that will shape the online commerce world. Use them to your advantage!

 

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Written by Elea Andrea Almazora- RingCentral US

Elea is the SEO Content Optimization manager for RingCentral, the leader in global enterprise communication and customer support solutions. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in on-page optimization, editorial production, and digital publishing. She spends her free time learning new things.

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