While trends are constantly changing in the retail industry, a new survey by Bazaarvoice has shown that there is a pandemic of shopping behavior.
The 2022 Shopper Experience Index reveals that most consumers who had to shop online in 2020 and 2021 are still doing so. Those who do venture back into stores are relying heavily on online product research to help them make their buying decisions. These results show where brands need to focus in order to navigate a post-pandemic world.
Shoppers are the new salespeople
According to the survey, ratings and reviews are two of the top five factors for increasing consumer confidence online. This is a great opportunity for small businesses to make use of it. They can get authentic reviews, photos and video from customers through direct relationships. This content could be the best to convince shoppers to buy.
Keith Nealon is the CEO of Bazaarvoice. Your brand is no longer yours. Virtually anyone can go online and share their experiences with your brand, products, and services. This is the content that will influence how other shoppers view your brand in today’s ecommerce environment.
Fake reviews can be worse than no reviews
The survey found that 50% of respondents believe negative reviews are equally important as positive ones. Contrary to what you might think, negative reviews can devalue all positive reviews. This could be because customers perceive that only positive reviews are fake testimonials.
Retail businesses’ greatest asset is authenticity. Therefore, retailers should share the feedback and thoughts of their customers, both good and bad.
Bazaarvoice says that negative reviews can be used to engage with customers and identify potential product improvements. Brands that respond to negative feedback and take steps to address it will build trust and confidence with customers. This will help them improve their products in the future.
Social commerce simplifies the journey
Small businesses must ensure that they offer a seamless customer experience, as the survey shows that 69% of shoppers were inspired to shop through social media.
Ease is the key driver of a purchase so any kinks in a customer’s journey online will be disastrous. Bazaarvoice emphasizes that “Smooth” is the key driver for a purchase. Seamless. Reliability is a detriment to the shopping experience, and it makes it more likely that your shopper will leave.
Hybrid shopping is the new normal
According to the survey, 64% of consumers “hybrid-shopped” in the last six months. 64% did their research online before going into a store. Even if they make a purchase in-store, shoppers will have done research online about the product before making a purchase. This is another habit that has been observed during the pandemic.
Bazaarvoice explains that consumers are more open to trying new brands, even if they have to choose between stockouts or shortages.
Retailers must be in touch with the customers they want to shop at. It has been proven that it is impossible to predict what buyer behaviors will stay and which will go when external factors shift.