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Key Takeaways from BigCommerce’s 2024 Online Shopping Report: Consumer Behaviour Trends Shaping Ecommerce

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By Published On: May 21, 20240 Comments

We identified three major trends in BigCommerce’s 2024 Online Shopping Report, so you can meet — and exceed — consumer expectations.

BigCommerce’s 2024 Online Shopping Report: Consumer Behaviour Trends Shaping Ecommerce brings fresh data and findings about shifting shopper behaviours and their impact on the ecommerce landscape. BigCommerce’s 2024 data and comparisons across the previous four years provide critical insights for retailers to optimise strategies in line with current purchasing behaviours, cart abandonment trends, delivery needs, loyalty and rewards preferences, brand engagement, and social media effectiveness.

This year, financial pressures are mounting. The cash rate remains at a ten-year high of 4.35 percent, and the latest retail trade data from the ABS shows discretionary spending is dwindling, with retail trade falling 0.4 percent on a month-on-month basis in March. The data revealed that discretionary retail categories recorded a downward trend. Household goods fell 3.1 percent, while clothing, footwear and accessories slipped just 0.4 percent, and department stores were down 0.3 percent in March.

Customers are making more thoughtful purchases, ordering smaller and smarter and shopping with retailers who offer more than just a product.

Power Retail highlighted three major trends identified in BigCommerce’s 2024 Online Shopping Report: Consumer Behaviour Trends Shaping Ecommerce.

Value-Driven Mindset

As outlined above, with inflation rates at a high, shoppers have assumed a value-driven mindset this year.

Automated price tracking and alerts overwhelmingly take the top spot for online shopping features that interest consumers the most at 65 percent.

Interestingly, only 23 percent of consumers are actually using automated price tracking and alerts. Given that this feature is the most popular, BigCommerce suggests that more retailers should be using this functionality to drive engagement.

Value doesn’t necessarily mean bargains. This mindset also applies to carefully choosing products they know will last, fit, or otherwise meet their needs. 

Personalised recommendations are the second most desired online shopping feature at 45 percent, and virtual try-ons for clothing and accessories is third at 36 percent. 

Free delivery encourages 93 percent to make repeat purchases with a retailer — even more than good quality products (90 percent.)

Retailers who minimise the perceived loss caused by additional expenses, such as shipping charges, can help shoppers complete orders with greater mental ease and encourage repeat purchasing behaviours. 

A Seamless Last Mile

In some good news for retailers, shoppers are lowering their expectations for expedited delivery. In 2023, shoppers experienced increased delivery delays as more people shopped online than ever before. The past few years have also heralded the rise of low-cost, international marketplaces like Shein and Temu. As a result, shoppers are becoming more patient. More than four in ten say that shipping times over 5–7 days won’t deter them from purchasing — an 8 percent increase from last year. 

Shoppers are also becoming more accepting of increasing delivery charges. Between 2021 and 2024, the threshold at which customers abandoned their carts due to delivery costs rose by $0.74 for small items and $3.19 for larger items. Again, this can be linked to the rise of low-cost, international marketplaces and the precedent they are setting. 

While shoppers may be more tolerant of slower and more expensive delivery, they still have high expectations for an overall seamless checkout experience.

Eighty-nine percent of shoppers will abandon a purchase if the checkout process is too difficult, a growth of 2 percent YoY. Similarly, slow checkout processes will deter 71.5 percent of shoppers, and a further 78 percent will abandon a cart if the returns process is poor.

With finances at top of mind for shoppers, security is a major concern throughout the buying process. As we’ve seen from a series of high profile data hacks, Australia is a prominent target for scammers; hence, shoppers want to know their data is in good hands.

Ninety-four percent of shoppers say they’ll choose not to submit their order when they don’t trust a site’s security. This has risen from 92 percent in 2023. Retailers should optimise their checkout processes to meet these expectations.

Cultivating a Rewarding and Engaging Relationship

These value-driven shoppers are spending their hard-earned money with retailers who show they appreciate it. 

Loyalty programs are a great way to keep shoppers engaged. Customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty, and see higher value in investing in brands that give back. Loyalty programs can offer this. Interestingly, the data shows that shoppers want to redeem points for free products (60 percent), and discounts (57 percent), in various forms, with far fewer wanting to redeem points for cash (just 41 percent). This data is fascinating at a time when shoppers are considering and planning purchases carefully and retailers should take note.

There are so many other resources available to retailers to engage their customers even when they aren’t in buying mode.

The majority of shoppers are always plugged in. Even when not in buying mode, consumers across all age ranges enjoy contests and product giveaways more than any other resource, at around a 45 percent average. Social posts come in second at around 16 percent, and lifestyle posts or images at nearly 13 percent across all ages.

Using social media, giveaways, podcasts, and other resources are a great way to capture an audience and build relationships.

Conclusion

BigCommerce concludes that, “in 2024, it pays to be mindful of how your brand connects, engages, and rewards shoppers. Analyse which social channels are in tune with your specific audience, provide on-site shopping experiences that demonstrate trust and ease of getting to the checkout — and reward customers in the ways that matter most.”

For more insights and data, download: Key Takeaways from BigCommerce’s 2024 Online Shopping Report: Consumer Behaviour Trends Shaping Ecommerce.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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