What Consumers Want: A Data-Driven Guide for Small Retailers
Whether directly or indirectly, Amazon.com has set the new standard for shopping, marrying convenience and personalization to deliver a custom-tailored experience for each customer. With the sheer magnitude of the retail giant’s presence, it has become the yardstick by which all other online retail interactions are measured. Last month, Vantiv, now Worldpay, conducted a survey to understand what consumers most prefer when shopping online, and it revealed some intriguing insights.
70% of Consumers More Likely to Shop With a Small Retailer if it Appeared on Amazon Marketplace
Our research shows that 70 percent of consumers said they would be more likely to shop with a small retailer if it appeared on Amazon Marketplace. Meanwhile, only 43 percent would shop on a website owned by a small, independent business.
Does this spell ruin for small retailers? Quite the opposite.
Consumers are looking for ease of use and convenience when hunting for that new sweater or custom embroidered pillowcase. Small retailers should prioritize moving at least part of their online business onto Amazon’s Marketplace to ensure they can be found by new and returning customers.
Consumers Want a Straightforward Experience
Consumers expect the following from their online transactions, no matter the size of the retailer:
- Free or reduced shipping: Small retailers have Amazon to thank for this. With so many consumers subscribing to Amazon Prime, free or reduced shipping shifted from a luxury offering to the bare minimum. Retailers without free or reduced shipping will have a hard time winning over shoppers.
- Unique products not available elsewhere: The advantage given to small retailers is that they almost certainly offer something unique. Major retailers may have a vast reach, but at a cost. The novelty of what small retailers offer is a point in their favor.
- Transparency with no gimmicks: Around the internet shopping sphere, it can be difficult for consumers to quickly and easily understand the terms of a purchase. Transparency in purchasing and return policies will inspire trust and loyalty.
- Fairly priced goods: Fifty-eight percent of consumers would buy from a small business online if the price is within 5 percent of what they believe other retailers might charge.
Boomers and Retirees Are Less Susceptible to Online Advertising
Older generations are more immune to online advertising than their younger cohort. Only 9 percent of boomers and 4 percent of retirees would click on a banner ad to make a purchase. Combined with this same group’s lack of trust in small businesses with an online presence — Gen Z and millennials are more than twice as likely to shop online than older generations — retailers targeting these generations should aim to demonstrate trustworthiness. For example, our research revealed that a money-back guarantee is a strong motivating factor in how retirees choose to make purchases.
In considering retail strategy, our research affirms that it's first and foremost important to understand who your target customer is. In all cases, it’s apparent that trust goes far in winning customers. Older generations value a sense of assurance that they will like what they buy, while younger generations expect transparency in their transactions and value novel, unique goods.
Joe Pellar is the senior product manager for SMB Product, Worldpay, a provider of secure payment services for small and large businesses. Worldpay works to continually conduct new research and understand what’s most important to consumers. Visit our statistics page to get the latest insights.
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