CONSUMER TRENDS VS. BRAND LOYALTY

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Reports* on worldwide online consumer and e-commerce trends show a 20 percent increase in online sales in 2014, amounting to $1.5 trillion. The exponential growth in e-commerce is reported to have outgrown offline business, as seen in the case of Netflix’s impact on Blockbuster. More and more consumers are taking to the Internet to shop. “In our world of online comparisons, we have seen the number of visitors to our website almost double in the space of a year,” says Derek Wilson, Head of SA’s number one online insurance and financial comparison website, Hippo.co.za.

“We know brand loyalty is dwindling – more consumers are going online to compare before they buy and they are no longer afraid of switching brands,” adds Wilson. “Through our own research, we found that 60% of South African consumers surveyed had switched insurers previously. Not surprisingly, price and service are the main contributing factors to switching, with other factors such as benefits and excess amounts also taken into consideration.”

Here are some interesting consumer trends in online shopping:

Time-limited sales are irresistible

Consumers are willing to stop important daily activities such as meetings in order to not miss a great deal online. Putting a time limit on your online sales is a good way of driving traffic to your website.

Online shopping is part of daily/weekly routines

Shopping online is a regular pastime for consumers, but traffic is considerably increased during peak season. Beware of increased volumes of traffic to your site in order to avoid a technical shutdown.

Consumers shop 24/7

Consumers shop online during different times of the day - morning, evening and afternoon. An always-on shopping platform is a must to ensure optimum customer satisfaction and sales.

E-mail notifications do not bother consumers

Do not assume that consumers do not wish to receive e-mail on sales or promotions, especially if they subscribe to receive e-mails. This is a clear indication that they are on the lookout for any special offers.

“The benefit of comparing online through a comparison website, is that it is more convenient than, for example, calling around for quotes. The site does all the hard work for you in an instant,” concludes Wilson. “Take Car Insurance for example - spending just a few minutes on Hippo.co.za could save one in two people hundreds of Rands per month**.”



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