Three buying habits business owners must know

By Jessica Mcclennen

Modern consumers are becoming more and more immersed in new technology. Gone are the days when consumers go out of their way to buy all items at local brick and mortar stores. So too goes the constant interaction with local stores and even owners, in case they are manning the stores at the time. But as things become fast paced, so do the shopping habits of consumers. This is not a negative development in itself. This is, in fact, a positive turn considering that it creates more opportunities for retail businesses. One can start marketing their products outside their stores and reach out to more consumers.

According to Statista, online shoppers in the US numbered 191.1 million in 2013. These are individuals who went online to browse for merchandise on the internet and bought at least one item in the process. By 2015, one can expect the numbers to surpass 200 million. Anyone who has seen these numbers will jump on this opportunity fast.

Retail businesses can see the potential in growing their consumer base through online shopping. An expert’s help, such as Shopify, can make the transition much easier for retail businesses if interested in the jump to online. While technology might be out of your realm, consumer habits in the modern world should not be an alien concept for you. Knowing just a little more about which buttons to push with potential customers will go a long way. You may need to go beyond pricing strategy alone to get consumers to start looking up your online store. Here are three consumer habits to think about.

Convenience, more than Price, as an Incentive

As handheld devices become more of a necessity than a luxury, so does online shopping. Your consumers may be a single parent who needs to be at work then on to their kid’s baseball game the next minute. It could be a single consumer holding two or three jobs at the same time and with not a minute to spare for shopping. It is likely they’d rather rest or get sleep between jobs than spend time in department stores shopping. There may be consumers interested in buying a product unique to your business. But you have no store in the immediate vicinity so the only way to go is to buy one from your online store.

Whatever the reason, many consumers find online shopping convenient. Besides, consumers will have to buy gas and deal with travel time to complete their shopping needs without online shopping. Lower price for merchandise is a main consideration for online shopping as well. But it is not considered as important as convenience, especially after you’ve added the gasoline price to the bill.

Wide Selection to Choose From

As a consumer, you know first-hand that there are limitations to what a store can put on display. You may like a dress, but want a color different from what is in the inventory. In other cases, the store may not carry your size. So even if the shoe design is something you would prefer, you aren’t going to bother buying anything since your size isn’t there. Online stores allow for wiggle room in this regard. They can get suppliers to provide a large variety of merchandise, especially if there is a demand for a certain type of product. Likewise, low demand would mean removing the item from their inventory.

Retail businesses can only get rid of low demand products through clearance sales. And then change the number of items on the next supply order. Accordng to Retail Revolution, about 31-52 per cent of respondents in a survey indicated variety as the reason they go online to do their shopping.

Delivery Options for Purchases

After buying the merchandise, another plus factor for online shopping is the delivery options. According to Retail Revolution, this is the third most common reason why consumers will go online, next to the convenience and variety of selection. This is especially accurate when buying consumer electronics like huge televisions. Some home improvement products can be heavy to carry around. Online shopping allows consumers to buy the items they need and not worry about carrying them around the store. Nor do they have to think about space in their car to bring all these products home.

Keep in mind that consumers can check what your competition can offer. A deeper understanding of modern consumer habits can help get your business out there in the big leagues. At the least, you can increase your consumer base by marketing your product or services online. This can help translate into a lift in your sales. It is true that you would need to invest in a good, user-friendly online store. But if you handle this right, return of investment should come in just as quick. Go ahead and make your move now.

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