Midwest Energy & Communications' Website Compass

WebsiteCompass 5 Technological and social shifts in recent years have changed not just where we shop, but how. We now have many more options for learning about and purchasing products. Savvy Consumers are Shifting Their Shopping Habits Product Research Whether they end up purchasing items online or in a brick-and-mortar store, customers are doing more research in advance. Some online retailers make it even easier with a side-by-side comparison function that lists apples-to-apples features of similar models. Peer Reviews Part of the research process is looking at reviews, which anyone can post. This method enables shoppers to see what actual people think about products in real-life situations. With critical insights such as, “The zipper sticks,” these descriptions are typically much more revealing than a company’s promotional narratives. Mobile Shopping Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile purchases will account for 43.4% of total retail ecommerce in 2023. That figure translates to a lot of people using their mobile phones to shop! And why wouldn’t they, considering the additional layer of convenience that comes with the ability to place an order from anywhere? Hybrid Shopping The pandemic increased the number of retailers that enable customers to do their shopping online and pick up their order at a physical store. This method combines the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of getting items quickly. Social and Environmental Consciousness More shoppers than in the past are concerned about the social, environmental, and political impact of their purchases. They bring these considerations into their shopping choices, and many are even willing to pay more for items that are guaranteed to meet certain ethical standards. Source: insiderintelligence.com/insights/ mobile-commerce-shopping-trends-stats/ How Online Shopping Has Changed the Brick-and-Mortar Experience Since online shopping was introduced (remember when Amazon just sold books?), brick-and-mortar stores have had to find ways to compete. Fortunately, there are some things that can be done more easily the old-fashioned way. For example, to find a perfect pair of shoes for a new dress, you might start by buying one pair online. But what if it doesn’t work out? Even with generous return policies, it might take weeks of buying and returning to find a pair that looks and fits just right. If you go into a physical shoe store, however, you can accomplish the same thing in about half an hour. Retailers with a physical footprint are also finding ways to draw shoppers away from their online competition with more experiential offerings like tastings, classes, and tech-based events. Such happenings are turning traditional stores into “third spaces,” similar to coffee shops and parks. FAST FACT: Video shopping is when companies use videos to describe and promote their products.