Some 51% of UK consumers have said they prefer to shop online than in-store, research by ecommerce search and navigation specialists EmpathyBroker has suggests.
Furthermore, over 55% also said that they were shopping more online this year compared to 2017.
The research found that regular consumer shopped online on average six times per month, with 25-34-year olds the most active, visiting a retailer’s website eight times a month.
The study also showed similarities between the sexes with 27% of men and 25% of women shopping online once a week. Londoners were shown to be the most active online shoppers in England, indulging in ecommerce retail therapy on average seven days per month.
The research also found that only 13% of consumers knew exactly what product they want to buy ‘every time’ they visited an online website while 42% said they knew only ‘some of the time’.
Almost two thirds of shoppers (65%) liked to have a browse or general look around ‘every time’ or ‘a lot of the time’ they shopped, and online stores are increasingly becoming a source for shopping inspiration. Some 33% of all consumers looked for brands to suggest product options or give tips about the latest trends ‘every time’ or ‘a lot of the time’ they visited a site.
EmpathyBroker said this may explain why 43% of respondents said they were more likely to make an unexpected purchase online than in-store.
The research also revealed that after the cost of the product (58%), free delivery and return options (57%), the search function (29%) was the third most important aspect for consumers when choosing to shop on one website over another.
Some 61% of consumers use the search option every time or a lot of the time when shopping online, with the research also finding that the quality of a website’s search function directly affects the number of sales. In fact, 63% of consumers said they were less likely to make a purchase if the site search wasn’t good and they couldn’t find what they’re looking for.
Angel Maldonado, founder of EmpathyBroker, said: “As we see more and more consumers going online, and more frequently, this presents a great opportunity for ecommerce retailers but it also means more than ever they need to get the digital experience right.
“Creating more memorable online experiences not only generates sales, it creates emotion, brand connection and loyalty. It’s no longer enough to offer great products or have the coolest store. It helps, yes, but in the end, it all comes back to emotions, to making people feel unique and special. Smart retailers are thinking more about people, relationships and creating memorable and joyful digital experiences.”