Five eCommerce Insights You Need Right Now

By July 20, 2015Blog, eCommerce
eCommerce Insights

At a Glance

Take home message: Online shoppers have clear patterns of usage on different devices.  Successful eCommerce strategies leverage these patterns into sales.

Why read this blog post: You want your customers engaging with your products across multiple devices to increase both online and in-store purchases.

What’s new: New research from EBay provides five valuable insights into effective eCommerce.


EBay has recently released important research into how, when, and why customers reach for different devices when browsing and making purchases.

Information from 1,177 multi-device owning consumers was collected in a comprehensive study. All participants owned a smartphone and all shopped online, with additional devices including tablets (64% of participants), desktops (75%) and laptops (93%).

The study revealed five key insights into eCommerce that your business needs to know.

eCommerce Insight 1:  Device switching is the new normal
Consumers frequently use more than one device in the evaluation and purchase of a single item. Proximity, intent, and comfort are the core motivations of the 64% of people who switch from one device to another during a single purchase.

eCommerce Insight 2:  Context and convenience motivate device use
Smartphones dominate the contexts of ‘work’, ‘in-store’, and ‘on-the-go’ compared to other device types. Tablets and desktops are preferred for ‘at home’. However, smartphones are more frequently used at home to shop (87%) than any other location and are used at work (52%) more than desktop/laptops (36%). This signals the importance of the non-office worker as a consumer and also that some workers are reluctant to use their work devices for shopping.

eCommerce Insight 3: Different devices – different purchase behaviours
The study found that smartphones are primarily used for light browsing, light purchasing, checking email, getting directions to a store, and as a workplace alternative to the desktop/laptop.  Tablets are used for deeper browsing compared to the smartphone and light to deep purchasing at home. Purchases of 1-4 items per cart on the tablet are growing at a faster rate than desktop and smartphones.  Desktop/laptop remains the preferred device for in depth browsing and purchasing at home (71%), but is beginning to lose ground to tablets.

eCommerce Insight 4: Changing channels goes both ways
A clear majority (65%) of participants “showroom” (seek information in-store to later purchase online) and “pre-search” (seek information online prior to going in-store).  ‘Seeing and feeling’ (58%) and ‘avoiding shipping costs’ (47%) are motivations to purchase in-store after a pre-search.  ‘Looking for better prices’ (72%), and ‘online promotions’ (50%) are the main drivers to purchase online after visiting a showroom.  This signals that there are strong opportunities to make a sale even after a customer leaves your website or your showroom.

eCommerce Insight 5: Bridge the gap between online and in-store
Participants purchased almost twice as many items in-store than when they return home and shop online. One reason for this is that many smartphone and tablet interfaces do not adequately provide the services that people get in-store – including access to customer advice and ISPU (In-Store Pick Up).

Five eCommerce Insights

What does this mean for your eCommerce strategy?
The key finding from the EBay research is that the future of digital commerce is mapping consumers’ preferred activities to specific devices within different contexts. Understanding what consumers are looking for in one context, helps anticipate what they need in the following context.  It is then possible to deploy solutions that allow the contexts to ‘talk’ to one another until a purchase decision is made.

At Design Industries, we help bring this all together.  It’s about customised software, strategic deployment and powerful visibility.  The questions that we can help you answer include:

  • Do your customers shop differently at different times of the day—and can you map your customers to devices and contexts to trigger their purchase?
  • Why are your consumers not buying on highly trafficked devices? (It’s almost always related to a poor user experience)
  • Have you evaluated the entire ‘product consideration cycle’ from your customers’ points of view?
  • Is your in-store pick-up/ship-to-store program working with your marketing campaigns to drive the consumer to spend more in-store?

To shift your eCommerce to meet a world of multi-device and multi-channel consumer demands, contact a Design Industries expert.   We customise the world’s best eCommerce software solutions, including Magento, and we’ve got the success stories to prove it.

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