How shoppers behave and perceive online shopping

Unpredictable shoppers
Today’s shoppers are hard to predict. A large majority carefully plan what they’ll buy, but many admit to buying on impulse. Electronics and clothing take the top spot for popular products and the battle to choose between in-store and online continues.

Research and careful decisions are a regular feat, but shoppers never say never.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

I often buy products spontaneously

Shoppers consider themselves quite spontaneous and flexible when it comes to buying online. They can get caught up in the moment. If you show them the right product at the right price at the right time, they’re likely to buy.

I often carefully plan what I buy

Most shoppers take their time to decide. They need to research and get reassurance. Retailers must understand  this and not try to consistently push for a sale, but guide shoppers along the buyer's journey at their own pace.

I often buy products based on advertisement I have seen

Adverts are hard to escape. But shoppers want to make their own decisions. They aren't consciously influenced and prefer to be left alone to discover.

If I see something I want, I buy it

Shoppers frequently act on impulse. Similar to being spontaneous, if you show the right product at the right time, they’re likely to buy.

I often buy products based on inspiration I get online

Shoppers are looking for inspiration and when they find it, it works. When you put time and resources into building a more inspirational shopping experience, you'll reap the rewards.

I typically do a lot of research, before I buy a product

Though shoppers can be spontaneous, they prefer to research and consider before buying.

Appeal to impulse
Inspiration clearly plays a big part in online retail. And we predict it'll only get bigger. A large percentage of shoppers already agree they buy spontaneously, so imagine the power your store could have if you inspire those impulsive shoppers.

Online shopping is easy, but there’s still room for improvement.

What is your general perception of buying products online?

Online shopping has become the go-to form of shopping for many of us. Thanks to it now being a regular habit, most shoppers consider online shopping as being easy.

Products often competitive on price and fast delivery top the popularity scale.

Which of the following products do you typically buy online?

As ecommerce and online retail grows, so does the range of products available. Yet as creatures of habit, shoppers stick to what they know. They like getting the best prices online for electronics and books, but prefer to buy more immediate items like food and cleaning items in store.

Online products are worth the wait
There’s such a wide variety of products available online these days. Yet it’s no surprise that products not necessarily needed immediately or unavailable in standard supermarkets are the most common online purchases.

The physical touch and immediate satisfaction that comes with in-store shopping is simply unbeatable.

What is your primary reason for buying products in a physical store?

"Prefer to see and feel an item"
"Can see, touch, try it on"
"No waiting for delivery"
"Ability to see and take products immediately"
"High delivery fees"
"Customer Service"
"I get to see the product. Images can be deceiving"

Yet ease, convenience and price comparison are the biggest reasons to buy online.

What is your primary reason for buying products online?

"Ease, range, price"
"Ease of finding products at the best price"
"Delivery to home"
"More choice. You can buy things online which aren't available in stores"
"Greater variety to choose from"
"Availability and competitive price"
"Easy, I don't have to rush to buy"
What we see in the competitive picture at the moment is a lot of focus on convenience and price. But for us, they’re hygiene factors. Obviously you need to be aware of these things but a way to differ from your competitors is to actually be inspirational. Our new strategy is called ‘Experiences like no other’ where we aim to take more ownership of the whole customer journey and look at where we can inspire people, not just in the buying process but also before and after buying our products.
Rasmus Skjøtt, Chief Digital Officer at Søstrene Grene

Share the report