In July the affilinet European marketing teams got together and decided to do some consumer research to explore the online purchasing habits of consumers and how they respond to the techniques brands are adopting to better engage with them. The main findings were particularly insightful for retailers:
- 71 per cent of UK consumers cite price as a key factor when making a purchasing decision
- 95 per cent of Europeans state that voucher codes do not negatively impact brand perception
- Nearly half of Europeans find trying products for size a major obstacle when buying online
UK consumers care most about price when making a purchase
71 per cent of UK consumers marked price as a major factor when making a purchasing decision, ranking the UK as the most cost-conscious market in Europe. In contrast, only half of French consumers (53 per cent) cited price as a major factor, highlighting product features (76 per cent) as the most important factor. The Dutch also place the emphasis on product features (41 per cent). Spanish consumers are most receptive to personal recommendations via online channels such as email and social networks, with over a third (35 per cent) highlighting this as key.
It’s interesting to note that different markets have such a varied response to what makes them purchase a product. It demonstrates that the one size fits all approach to marketing has had its heyday and it is important for businesses to carefully determine what has most resonance with different audiences.
Voucher codes do not impact consumer perception of the brand
95 per cent European consumers of stated that voucher codes do not have a detrimental impact on the way they perceive a company. Adding extra weight to this finding, the results of the research found that half (46 per cent) felt that voucher codes improved the relationship they hold with the brand.
The research also highlights how promiscuous consumers can be, particularly in the UK where 81 per cent of shoppers show little brand loyalty if a competing brand is prepared to offer an incentive such as a cash-back reward.
These figures demonstrate that incentives such as voucher codes and cash back rewards clearly have resonance with consumers. However, businesses need to find ways to integrate these offers intelligently into campaigns to ensure they continue to have mass appeal and that consumers don’t begin to rely on the company as a ‘discount brand.’ It is up to affiliate marketers (with the help of their network) to help direct consumers on the right path to the best product, at the best time and at the best price.
Trying products out major obstacle for European consumers when purchasing online
Nearly half (47 per cent) of European consumers believe that difficulty in trying products for size is a major obstacle when buying online. Security of payment was the biggest obstacle for French and German consumers when purchasing online, with 57 per cent of respondents from both countries citing this as a perceived problem when carrying out transactions. Lack of face-to-face service time was the biggest issue with Dutch consumers when buying on the internet, with 28 per cent of their respondents citing this as a major obstacle.
UK consumers revealed themselves as the least concerned about buying products over the internet, with 22 per cent claiming they have absolutely no issue with making purchases online.
It’s great to see that British consumers are so confident in making purchases online. Where trying products out via an online outlet might have been an issue in years gone by, many e-tailers now have well drilled processes in place to make it easy for items to be returned on a no-fee policy. E-tailers are continuing to create ever-more consumer friendly and secure environments to make purchases, but there still seems to be a need to communicate this to consumers.
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