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Buying Behavior Of Online Shoppers

By Expert Author: Nitin Mittal

With the introduction of competition to traditional brick and mortar retail stores by online sites selling everything from fruit juice to apparels, buying behavior of shoppers is evolving rapidly. Shopper psychology is becoming more complex for the marketer to catch, and buyers are manifesting trends that are leaving all old research data redundant.

Let's have a look at certain important aspects.

The Customer’s Confusion

Today, the customer is bombarded with information about products, competition, prices and various online and offline options. The result has been a confused customer who delays buying decisions despite finding what he was searching for at the right price. A study conducted on shoppers in the UK concluded that one in three customers researched goods online for about a month before making purchase decisions for items such as clothes and shoes.

Window Shopping

Window shopping has been an eternal pastime for shopping enthusiasts, one that is just as harmless to the pocket as it is rejuvenating to the senses. Online shopping is pretty much same but with a small difference. Because shoppers cannot feel the product, they tend to look for best prices in different stores. This urge of online shoppers for best price is captured by ValueTag add-on, a perfect companion for online window shoppers. The online shopper seems to be enjoying the experience of viewing products of one’s wish list, comparing prices at different websites and even adding so many products to the ‘cart’ without actually having to buying them.

Viewing Offline and Buying Online

Many shopping enthusiasts are now viewing and selecting products at offline retail stores but actually buying them online. The reason is the price differences, as shoppers tend to compare store prices online before buying. Many marketers are actually making efforts to counter such shopper behavior. Spearheading this reverse trend back to stores is ValueTag mobile app. Shoppers can check the prices of any product over several major stores by merely scanning the product in store. Now shoppers can make the decision right inside store.

Prices, Reviews and Visuals

A few key factors always play an important role in the buying decision making. One is the product reviews, which customers like to read to confirm if others who purchased the product have also had a good experience with the product and associated service. Online sellers are hence very sensitive about reviews and would go to any length to please customers for the sake of good reviews.

Attractive and clear visuals of the product are another important aspect, as the shopper always wants to ‘see’ the product well before buying, even if it’s just on the computer or mobile screen.

Last but not the least, price has been seen to play the most important role in the final buying decision. Online shoppers may select goods but will make the final buy only after ascertaining that they have chosen the best deals available. Online shopping at lowest prices is always a hot search topic for shoppers.

Evolution of Applications for Shopper Convenience

The process of comparing prices and reviews has also evolved with time. Price comparison websites and smart applications have made the process easier and faster.

One such example is the ‘Value Tag’ application from Copperpix. Available in both USA and Indian markets, Value Tag is a revolutionary tool that can be used to compare prices on your browser, phone or even compare prices of retail stores with online counterparts.

On installing the application on one’s android phone (from http://www.valuetagapp.com ), the Valuetagapp just shows as a ‘best price’ tag on the product one is browsing. On clicking it, the entire list of similar products with respective prices and reviews at different sites is seen in a pop-up. The Valuetagapp can also be used on one’s browser as a chrome add-on, safari extension and firefox extension.

The Valuetagapp comes with additional barcode scanner capability, so that the customer can compare in-store prices with online ones before deciding on the best deals. Covering more than 300 stores across USA and India, the product seems to have rapidly caught the e-shoppers’ fancy.

Marketers need to keep pace with this evolution in shopper psychology if they aspire to be one step ahead of their competition.

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