Is your brand ready to compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
Click on the below video to find out how our Digital Optimiser can help your brand:
The world wide web has seen significant change since the launch of the first website back in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners Lee. Lee, a researcher at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, once famously said, “when we link information in the web, we enable ourselves to discover facts, create ideas, buy and sell things, and forge new relationships at a speed and scale that was unimaginable in the analogue era”. Back in the early 1990’s, brand owners were told by marketers to build a website and consumers will come, and to a certain degree they were right.
By 2007, when the first iPhone was launched marketers declared that mobile was the new gateway to success. Again these predictions proved correct with the number of consumers accessing the internet via smartphones surpassing the number of traditional computers in 2014. Fast forward to 2017 and the internet has evolved into a crowded and noisy marketplace with over a billion websites now jostling for consumers attention.
Today, emerging technologies such as voice and virtual reality appear to be the next leap forward in revolutionising how consumers will discover, interact with and purchase brands. But before the future comes should we perhaps stop and look at how consumers currently experience the tools we use to communicate with them today?
Earlier this year, Head of Visa Ireland Philip Konopik stated that Irish brands which are experiencing a decline in sales in the face of stiff domestic and international competition need to put in place measures to differentiate themselves and encourage consumers to visit their websites. This, it would appear is invaluable advice given the rapid depreciation of sterling now attracting Irish consumers to purchase from UK based websites. However, before Irish brands shout from the roof tops ‘come visit our website’ should they perhaps consider what experience consumers will have when they arrive?
In October 2017 we asked consumers what they valued in a website and how their online shopping behaviour had changed over the past twelve months. Our research highlights that almost half of consumers are shopping online more often compared to the same period in 2016. In fact, over €9 billion was spent online by Irish consumers in 2016 a figure that is on course to reach €10.7 billion by the end of 2017 and rise to €14 billion by 2021. This shift in consumer behaviour has created a growing divergence between online shopping and spending on the high street a trend that looks set to amplify and grow as consumers seek out value and new experiences online.
This then should come as a cause for concern amongst brands that primarily sell via brick and mortar stores many of which lack a modern website that delivers the best possible online customer experience across both personal computers and smartphones. Our research has also uncovered that despite the rapid growth in online sales not all websites consumers visit are easy to navigate. More than four in five consumers told us they would not purchase from a website they found difficult to navigate. With such an abundance of choice and competition now available online brands are often only given a single opportunity to impress and retain customers before they seek out an alternative website.
In the UK the volume of online shopping sales completed on a smartphone has surpassed online shopping via personal computers. The Republic of Ireland is now approaching this tipping point driving the need for a ‘mobile first’ strategy to be adopted by Irish brands who sell online. In the Irish market more than half of consumers said it was important to them that a brand’s website works on a mobile phone. According to Google globally 61% of consumers are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing with 40% visiting a competitor’s website instead. This suggests that if your website is not currently mobile optimised now is the time to invest.
With a growing number of customers now shopping online a new challenge has emerged for marketers to solve. This is often referred to as ‘cart abandonment’ and occurs when a website visitor adds an item to their online shopping cart but exits without completing their purchase. Globally over 77% of all online shopping baskets are abandoned before consumers checkout of a website.
Our research suggests that in the Irish market almost four in five consumers have placed an item into an online shopping cart and then left a website without purchasing. A number of factors are now driving cart abandonment behaviour amongst these consumers:
To help brands tackle cart abandonment and create the best possible online customer experience across desktop and mobile devices Ignite have developed a new product called Digital Optimiser. To find out more click on the video at the top of this page or contact Trevor.Donegan@ignitemr.com.