Nogin this week released the results of its survey which examined online shopping trends and preferences. While some consumer preferences from last year will still play a part during the 2023 holidays, some new trends are also surfacing.
The survey results suggest a notable shift in the ecommerce landscape. Traditional incentives such as free shipping and discounts continue to play a significant role in consumer purchasing decisions. However, the data also points to a rising preference among consumers for more personalized shopping experiences.
The survey also shows that a significant majority of Americans are active online shoppers, with 96% having made online purchases in the past year and 26% having made an online purchase in the past 24 hours. The data underscores the importance of various incentives in driving online purchases, with free shipping (81%) and discounts (68%) topping the list of what inspires online shoppers to make purchases. The findings also highlight the growing significance of personalized experiences, with 20% of online shoppers saying they are inspired by personalized promotional emails and 17% by personalized brand recommendations.
The Need for Personalization in Retail
In response to these evolving consumer preferences, retailers should consider enhancing their ecommerce capabilities and focusing on personalization to provide more individualized and engaging customer journeys. With the holiday season approaching, adapting strategies to align with diverse consumer needs could be pivotal for direct-to-consumer (D2C) retailers.
“As we approach the holiday season, the data underscores the need for retailers to provide online consumers with the right mix of incentives and personalized experiences,” said Jonathan Huberman, CEO at Nogin, in a news release sent to Specialty Retailer. “For D2C brands, this translates to a golden opportunity: optimizing their ecommerce approach using intelligent, AI-driven strategies that cater to individual shopper preferences. By doing so, they can not only boost sales, but also cultivate enduring customer relationships that thrive well beyond the holiday frenzy.”
Here are some other noteworthy insights into online shoppers’ attitudes and behaviors for the 2023 holiday season:
Personalized Experiences Help Drive Purchases
Among online shoppers, 20% report that receiving personalized promotional emails serves as a compelling motivator for making a purchase, while 17% find themselves swayed by personalized brand recommendations. The survey found that, among online shoppers, men are more likely than women to be inspired to make an online purchase based on personalized recommendations from a brand (19% vs. 14%). Meanwhile, younger online shoppers are more likely to be influenced by personalized recommendations than their older counterparts (22% of 18-44 year olds, compared to 12% for 45+).
Social Media is the New Storefront
Seventy percent of online shoppers say they make purchases directly through social media ads, with 29% of those who make purchases through these ads saying they are making more purchases that way this year than they did last year. This rise in social shopping may be tied to how much time consumers spend on social media platforms, or it may be because social algorithms deliver personalized recommendations that resonate more strongly with shoppers.
In any case, social shopping is prevalent among all age groups, including more than half (56%) of online shoppers aged 65+ who have made purchases through social media ads. Among those who make purchases directly through social media ads, those ages 18-44 are more likely than those ages 45+ to say they made more purchases through these ads this year compared to last year (36% vs. 22%).
Free Shipping is the Top Incentive
Free shipping (81%) and discounts (68%) top the list of things online shoppers say would inspire them to purchase online. What’s more, an increasing amount of online shoppers would be inspired to make an ecommerce purchase if free shipping is offered (81%) than if free returns are available (48%). For many shoppers, offering free shipping could be just the “nudge” needed to encourage buying behavior.
What Makes Consumers Abandon Their Carts
More than 3-in-4 online shoppers (78%) say high shipping costs would make them likely to abandon an online order (78%), followed by difficult return policies (44%). Meanwhile, almost 1-in-4 online shoppers (23%) say not having integrated payments at checkout would increase their likelihood to abandon their online purchase.
However, the impact of purchase abandonment due to the lack of integrated payment offerings and buy now, pay later (BNPL) options varies by age: Online shoppers ages 18-34 are twice as likely as those ages 35+ to say not having integrated payments at checkout would increase their likelihood to abandon their online purchase (36% vs. 18%). With regard to BNPL, online shoppers ages 18-44 are more likely than those ages 45+ to say not having the option to pay with BNPL services would increase their likelihood to abandon their online purchase (18% vs. 7%).