All the Important Data: A Review of Online Purchasing in 2015

Remember the internet buying mania in November and December? Well, that mania has already become routine and it’s the result of the changes in consumer habits that we saw throughout 2015.

As compared to previous years, the digital commerce revolution continues to change the buying habits of consumers, who have discovered the many advantages that come with purchasing products on the web.

online shop

While at one time the consumer used the internet to search for information about products, compare prices, and get relevant information, but was still wary about using a credit card online, the results of online commerce in 2015 indicate beyond a shadow of a doubt that consumers are no longer fearful of paying for products through e-commerce websites.  In this field, too, we’ve become digitalized.

So what can internet salespeople learn from the consumers’ internet habits in 2015?

Purchases via mobile devices

Responsive design is the name of the game. If you’re not creating mobile responsive emails or landing pages that will organically lead the user to your online shop, you’re already losing a sizable portion of your potential customers.

Online commerce data for 2015 show that about 50% of the buyers sought information and purchased items using a mobile device, a significant increase relative to previous years.  In addition, consumers are using new mobile-compatible apps that help them with the buying process.

A new phenomenon among consumers who physically go to shops is that while they’re in the shop they use their smartphones to search for relevant information.  Sometimes they discover that the item they’re interested in is cheaper on one of the e-commerce websites.  In that case, while they’re still in the shop, they’ll make the purchase online and forgo the physical purchase.

This is consistent with the decreasing percentage of customers who actually visit physical shops and the significant rise in sales on the e-commerce websites.

The major shopping dates: Chinese Singles Day, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

The consumers have become skilled at searching for information and comparing prices, they’re aware of worthwhile sales and wait patiently for attractive digital commerce sales events such as Chinese Singles’ Day, Cyber Monday, the Saturday before Christmas, and more.

Chinese Singles’ Day

Chinese Singles’ Day has become the biggest shopping event around the world, and in 2015 on the Alibaba website alone, product sales reached 5 billion dollars in only 90 minutes, as compared to two billion dollars the previous year.  The buying frenzy on Chinese Singles’ Day broke new records.  By the way, over 45% of the purchases on Chinese Singles’ Day were carried out via mobile devices, and the experts say that next year the amount of mobile purchases will grow even more.

Black Friday

According to a study that was published recently in the U.S., the e-commerce data for Black Friday of 2015 indicate a continuation of the trend that began in the past few years of purchasing products online, and the study shows that the bulk of purchases in the online shops, but also in the shopping centers, were between 2:00 and 4:00 PM.  During those hours the items purchased were mainly cellphones and electronics, while the sales of other items such as clothing, toys, accessories, and housewares were higher in December, close to Christmas.

In addition, despite the significant increase in sales on the e-commerce websites on Black Friday, many Americans wait until the Saturday before Christmas in order to buy things on the e-commerce sites and in the stores. The reason for this is that after the Black Friday sales, about 50% of Americans still don’t know what to buy as gifts for their loved ones, and they’re waiting for answers or for special sales that are advertised just before the holidays, in order to lower costs.

A survey taken by Deloitte in the U.S. approaching the holidays and the special sales on the internet shows that 6 out of 10 Americans said they intended to buy presents and various items for themselves towards the end of the year.  Actually, 28% said they would definitely purchase various items and 30% said that it was very probable that they would buy a new product during that time.

Also according to the survey – 78% of the respondents between the ages of 18 and 24, and 77% in the 25-34 age bracket were those who were going to purchase products on the e-commerce websites and in the stores, which means that young people are the target group that should receive the most emphasis in end-of-year sales.  That’s why it’s important to know how to market to that generation, Gen-Y.

74% said in the survey that they intended to make purchases on Black Friday, meaning that the sales events on that day are the most popular for buying, followed by the Saturday before Christmas (49%), while on Thanksgiving only 22% responded that they intended to buy online or in the stores.  In the same survey, 8 out of 10 respondents said that they planned to buy products online on Cyber Monday, an important point for marketing directors in leading companies.

Black friday sale

Email marketing– the most effective way of marketing for e-commerce salespeople

You should know that e-mail marketing was found to have the most influence on internet purchases before Black Friday: over 25% of the customers bought products through referrals they received in commercial newsletters, whereas 21% of the buyers purchased the item after a search using one of the common search engines, with Google at the forefront, and only 16% of the internet users bought products following paid advertisements in the search engines.

These data (taken from a study by the National Retail Federation (NRF)) undoubtedly indicate the importance of email marketing and the steps marketing directors need to take in the coming years.

But email marketing doesn’t begin and end with sending emails with discounts.  With the help of Active Commerce in the ActiveTrail system, you can follow your users by email, send them mail if they abandon a shopping cart and offer them up-sales and cross-sales of various kinds.  That way your email marketing can jump to a new level without much effort.

In conclusion, in the world of online commerce, 2015 showed the continuation of the trend of purchasing products online and a change in buying patterns among consumers all over the world.  Each year, new sales records are set, and it’s important to analyze the e-commerce results in order to determine plans of action and to choose the best methods for reaching the consumers’ hearts and pockets.

Don’t miss these important dates and prepare your marketing system well before the next holiday season.

For more beneficial pointers, visit our blog