It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we shop significantly. Lockdown measures have caused an increase in online purchases, product research, new consumer habits and expectations, increased pressure on supply chain and logistics but also new sales opportunities for ecommerce businesses. How consumers search for and discover products and services is also constantly shifting, with an increase in app use and window shopping online. Merchants have to make the most of this shift if they want to sell more products online. They can do this easily easy with the help of a product feed optimisation software that enables marketers to include the essential product information to appear to consumers and sell more.
What can marketers do to keep up with the changing shopping sphere? What can retailers do to meet the changing needs and demands of the average consumer? In this article, we look at some of the changes in shopping and the new online shopping experience. We will then focus on what retailers can action to meet the changing consumer needs.
Google and Trinity McQueen conducted a research on 5000 UK consumers to understand the long-term changes in shopping behaviour at both a consumer and sector-by-sector level. The results from the study show that there is a huge potential for online retail now that majority of consumers are set to remain online shoppers even after the pandemic.
The report shows that online experiences are being prioritised by consumers, and consumers are discovering products, even when they’re not actively shopping. Google believes this change in consumers’ behaviour, constantly searching for information and inspiration online, is set to become permanent.
The fashion, beauty and telecommunications industries have seen the biggest jump to online shopping since the start of the pandemic. As the report shows below, the percentage of consumers claiming they will shop or expect to shop online versus in-store in the next six months remains significantly higher than the numbers pre-pandemic.
Among the 3 sectors, fashion has seen the highest jump from in-store retail to online shopping.
Google’s research shows that shopping attitudes have shifted significantly by age group. On one hand, younger consumers aged between 18 to 34 shop predominantly online. The younger spectrum of the consumers analysed are set to continue shopping online even after the pandemic. On the other hand, the older shoppers aged between 35-54 are now gradually switching to a more digital shopping experience, resulting in online purchases. Similarly, consumers aged 55+ are shopping more online when compared to the situation pre-pandemic.
According to the report, the coronavirus pandemic is not the only reason why more people are shopping online and with more frequency. Google puts it this way:
“For example, in the beauty sector, COVID-19 is only the fifth most important reason 18- to 34-year-olds are choosing to shop more online. In older segments, it is one of a number of key drivers”.
The numbers speak for themselves. If younger consumers were already shopping online before the pandemic, now more than ever they’re set to stick to the same shopping behaviour. The older generation is gradually gravitating towards the online shopping experience, joining the younger shoppers. Undoubtedly, this is a huge opportunity for ecommerce businesses and retailers to reach a wider audience and sell more. To sell more products and services online, marketers should:
As a seller, you should make sure that you’re visible where your customers and potential customers are likely to explore, search for inspiration and most importantly make a purchase. Product visibility is the first step towards increased sales.
This is when your campaign structure steps in. Your product visibility goes hand in hand with your campaign structure, one can’t be efficient without the other.
A good campaign structure consists in optimising your product feed, ensuring that they include product titles, product descriptions, high-resolution images, brand information, prices, delivery and return details.
From our experience in PPC, we know that a product feed optimisation software is the best solution to get all of these essential details straight into your product feed correctly and the requirement to ensure you have the best-structured shopping campaigns ready to launch, helping your products and services to become more visible and present online.
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Your products won’t be visible if they’re not tailored to the demands and needs of your audience. To know what type of demands these are, you need to know who your target audience is. Keep good consideration of your audience’s demographics, location, interests and preferences. When you know the type of information they are looking for, you can then include these within your product details.
If you want to reach a wider audience and sell more online, you should be as detailed as possible with all information regarding your products and services. From product titles and product descriptions to product attributes such as brand name, sizes, colours and prizes, these are all important for your products to appear on searches.
You should prioritise optimising your product descriptions. A good product description, containing all the product information and focus keywords will make it easier for your product to appear on to potential buyers. Then, with the description, the user can make a conscious purchase decision having learned all that they wanted to know about the product before hitting ‘buy’.
Adding this type of information to your product feeds is easy and straightforward with a product feed optimisation software, as it saves time, reduces costs and offers advanced automated suggestions to further optimise each product and boost your visibility.