Online Shoppers Looking to Discover New Products; Chinese ‘Golden Week’ Boosts British Retail

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: Online Shoppers Looking to Discover New Products; Chinese ‘Golden Week’ Boosts British Retail; and Amazon Controlling Search.

Online Shoppers Looking to Discover New Products

Three-quarters (74%) of online grocery shoppers are now focused on changing their basket of goods to discover new products, according to research from Bazaarvoice and IGD.

According to the research, 41% of all British grocery shoppers say they have shopped online for food or household groceries in the last four weeks with a claimed average basket value of approximately £70, highlighting the appetite to buy food online.

Online will continue growing rapidly – 60% of all British grocery shoppers say they will shop online and get their groceries delivered to their home in the next two to three years, growing the value of the online channel by over 50% in the next five years. By comparison, the value of supermarkets will grow by 7.7%.

So far, the sector has been focused on embedding the loyalty of online shoppers – 32% of online grocery shoppers say they subscribe to an online grocery delivery saver scheme, compared to 26% in 2015. However, 36% of these shoppers now express they are more loyal to brands that offer them free product samples.

With online growing, and shoppers wanting to try new products, reviews could be significantly more important – 40% of all grocery shoppers say they like reading reviews for other products and would read them for food and grocery products as well. Change is on the horizon, as 81% of shoppers claim to have read other reviews in the last six months and grocery is already the fifth most common use case of customer reviews after restaurants, hotels, and film & TV.

Chinese ‘Golden Week’ Boosts British Retail

China’s annual ‘Golden Week’ holiday saw British high street retailers receive a 30% sales boost from transactions with Chinese payment methods, finds research by Adyen.

The analysis also revealed that a quarter of all transactions from Chinese shoppers in the UK during Golden Week were completed using QR code-based digital wallets such as Alipay or WeChat Pay – a 25% increase from normal UK levels.

Myles Dawson, UK managing director, Adyen, comments: “The importance of offering relevant local payment options to customers from home and abroad cannot be overstated. We know that European retailers are losing more than £400m in sales each year by not offering customers their preferred payment methods. If you factor in international tourists, the opportunity lost is even greater.

“The sharp rise in transactions completed using Chinese payment methods show that retailers are starting to understand this opportunity. Offering QR code-based digital wallets such as Alipay and WeChat Pay is important to appeal to Chinese tourists. It provides them with a more familiar and frictionless payments experience, as well as enabling them to get a much better exchange rate and means they don’t have to carry lots of cash around with them.

“It’s up to merchants to support payment methods that appeal to their consumers. The key for retailers is finding the right technology partner that can provide an integrated solution on a single terminal device. This will give the retailer confidence that, as the shopper behaviour changes, their single terminal can already cope with that change.”

Amazon Controlling Search

There is a disconnect between consumer expectations and products purchased online, with nearly a quarter of consumers (22%) revealing that products they purchase online are often not what they expect, forcing many buyers to return goods, according to a report from inRiver.

If online product information is lacking, one-third (31%) will move to another website within 10 seconds, meaning the financial impacts on e-commerce businesses are drastic. On the flip side, 41% of online shoppers won’t consult another online store if all the information they need is provided in the first shop they visit.

The most commonly searched for information is for price comparisons (74%), general product information (fabric, ingredients, etc.) (41%), and reviews (58%). Other data is even more crucial to purchasing decisions: consumers will abandon their virtual shopping cart instantly and turn to another retailer to make the purchase if images (20%), information on availability (25%), or information on pricing (39%) are missing.

The findings indicate that the brand website is losing importance, with only 11% saying they are going to a brand’s website first when searching for a product. Instead, 45% are turning to Amazon first. In contrast, just 28% turn to a search engine first in their search for a product.

When products do not meet expectations, nearly half (48%) of consumers will return their items. While 94% of online shoppers say product information is important or critical to their purchasing decision, only 11% of online shoppers say the products they order online are always what they expect them to be.