Today’s business-to-consumer companies are divided into two distinct business models: digitally native or traditional retailers. Digitally native brands have built their company mainly if not solely through their online presence (like Casper or Warby Parker). Traditional retailers are brands that started as a brick-and-mortar store, but may have also created an online presence (like Kohl’s or Best Buy). Regardless of which type of business model the company operates under, customer expectations are largely the same.
Our 2020 B2C Report surveyed 1,250 U.S. online shoppers and to wind where digital brands and traditional retailers can learn from one another. Consumers showed similar preferences across both; in fact, the top three things consumers like most about shopping online were identical:
Simple and Easy Online/Mobile Shopping Experience
According to our survey, 70% of consumers like having a simple and easy shopping experience when buying from a digitally native brand compared to 52% at traditional retailers. It’s also the second most common reason customers post about brands and retailers on social media. This kind of experience comes naturally for digitally native brands as they can’t rely on established brick-and-mortar presences to draw traffic. Traditional retailers already have a loyal customer base so they focus less on marketing and easy transactions. They have preexisting customer relationships. If you want to offer a better shopping experience for customers, simplifying your online presence is a good place to start.
Fast, Free Shipping
Our 2020 B2C Report found that 76% of respondents believe the top characteristic of a positive online shopping experience was fast shipping speed. Convenience is not optional, it’s a requirement. This is an area where traditional retailers fall behind the fast shipping offered by digitally native brands. In fact, survey respondents said digitally native brands beat traditional retailers by a factor of 1.3x when it comes to offering fast shipping speeds. In a world where customers want products fast, offering accelerated shipping speeds is no longer a luxury, but a basic need and a great way to keep customers coming back.
Personalized Product, Size, and/or Color Recommendations
It is becoming increasingly common for customers to expect personalized product recommendations. Our 2019 B2C Report found that customers typically expected tailored discounts to be sent to them. However, in this year’s study, 36% of customers said they are seeking custom product recommendations, which means retailers must have a deeper understanding of their interests and preferences than they did before. The simpler forms of personalization have become the norm. Both digitally native brands and traditional retailers have ample room to grow here. Digitally native brands have an advantage because their customers’ brand interaction is all online. They should use that data to provide customers with products that suit their wants and needs. Traditional brands can leverage their longstanding customer relationships to recognize purchasing patterns and provide product recommendations via email or their websites. Brands have the opportunity to distinguish themselves by showing their attention to individual details. The attention to detail helps customers feel valued and important.
If you want to provide your customers a better experience online, we can help. Learn more about our Avionos Operate managed support services and experience management offerings and get in touch with our team to start your digital growth.