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Consumer Buying Behaviors

Consumer Buying Trends

Analyzing Consumer Buying Behavior in 11 Different Verticals

Buying behaviors and consumer expectations are impacted by a wide variety of factors. Perhaps the most telling characteristic of consumer engagement is the type of merchandise the shopper is looking for.

By analyzing data collected in PwC’s annual Total Retail survey from both 2016 and 2017, merchants can better understand the emerging trends and preferences in 11 different verticals.


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Analyzing Consumer Preferences: What Merchants Can Learn

Purchasing behaviors are changing, and understanding consumer preferences is essential to finding success across every payment channel.

Understanding the implications of emerging trends enables merchants to sell more, boost customer loyalty, and scale the business more efficiently. Conversely, ignoring pertinent data could lead businesses to make fatal errors in their strategy that could jeopardize revenue.


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Brand Loyalty is Waning—Which Increases Friendly Fraud

When consumers were asked what compels them to shop with their favorite retailer, brand loyalty was in third place, motivating just 32% of respondents. The remaining compelling components were derivatives of convenience and financial concerns:

  • The price is reasonable.
  • The items I want are usually in stock.
  • I can’t find the merchandise they sell anywhere else.
  • The return policy is reasonable.

Unfortunately, this combination of facts—that brand loyalty is dwindling and concern over price and convenience is increasing—is what’s driving friendly fraud trends.

Consumers who are more financially cautious and cognizant of what’s being spent are more likely to suffer from buyer’s remorse, which can easily turn into illegitimate chargebacks. And, 81% of friendly fraud chargebacks are filed out of convenience: consumers expect ease and efficiency at all stages of the purchasing process.

Recognizing how universally ingrained these consumer preferences are—and how they are increasing over time—enables merchants in all industries to better understand what’s in store for the future.

Creating an Omnichannel Strategy Needs to Be a Priority

Savvy consumers consider their options carefully before making a purchase.

Interestingly, the internet increased in popularity for both research and purchases in 2017. However, brick-and-mortar was the preferred venue for purchases in 9 of 11 verticals. Consumers might research online, but many will still venture out to a physical store to make a purchase.


Research & Purchasing Trends for All Verticals

Research Online 48.30%

Research In-Store 32.30%

Purchase Online 36.50%

Purchase In-Store 49.50%

Research & Purchasing Trends for All Verticals

Research Online

48.30%

Research In-Store

32.30%

Purchase Online

36.50%

Purchase In-Store

49.50%

Research & Purchasing Trends for All Verticals

Research Online

48.30%

Research In-Store

32.30%

Purchase Online

36.50%

Purchase In-Store

49.50%

For this reason, creating a seamless omnichannel experience needs to be a top priority for merchants. Shoppers want to use a given platform for the certain function in that particular moment, but then easily transition to another when necessary.

Smartphones are the Catalyst

Mobile devices are at the center of shifting consumer preferences. Overall, purchasing activity remained nearly flat for tablets and PCs, with many industries showing a decrease for these platforms. However, every industry showed an increased percentage of purchases made by mobile.


Percent Increase in Mobile Phone Purchasing

2016-2017

Books, Movies, Music, and Games 57%

DIY and Home Improvement 50%

Health and Beauty 80%

Sports Equipment and Outdoor 60%

Clothing and Shoes 50%

Furniture and Homeware 25%

Household Appliances 67%

Toys 33%

Consumer Electronics and Computers 50%

Grocery 50%

Jewelry and Watches 40%

Percent Increase in Mobile Phone Purchasing

2016-2017

Books, Movies, Music, and Games

57%

DIY and Home Improvement

50%

Health and Beauty

80%

Sports Equipment and Outdoor

60%

Clothing and Shoes

50%

Furniture and Homeware

25%

Household Appliances

67%

Toys

33%

Consumer Electronics and Computers

50%

Grocery

50%

Jewelry and Watches

40%

Percent Increase in Mobile Phone Purchasing

2016-2017

Books, Movies, Music, and Games 57%

DIY and Home Improvement 50%

Health and Beauty 80%

Sports Equipment and Outdoor 60%

Clothing and Shoes 50%

Furniture and Homeware 25%

Household Appliances 67%

Toys 33%

Consumer Electronics and Computers 50%

Grocery 50%

Jewelry and Watches 40%

Investing in the mobile experience is just as critical to brick-and-mortar retailers as it is to online sellers. When leveraged properly, a smartphone allows consumers to enhance their experience by passing fluidly from one channel to the next and conducting research in real-time. This allows customers to buy with more confidence, reducing the threat of buyer’s remorse and other potential revenue drains.

Merchants Must Respect Regional Preferences

The allure of being the first player in a previously untapped market is strong, but an impartial examination of consumer demand will demonstrate whether it’s worthwhile to make the move. It’s one thing to be open to new risks if there is a potential for reward, but there are few advantages to pursuing eCommerce in markets that show a decided preference against it.

Recognizing regions that show greater potential based on existing consumer preferences is a vital component of online success.

Content is an Important Draw

In every single industry, consumers are gradually replacing in-store evaluation with online research. This means that merchants who engage in content marketing, whose websites appear in the search results for relevant keywords, will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.

Merchants need to produce consistent, engaging, valuable content that will convert researchers into buyers. By serving as a resource, good content marketing presents facts in a helpful manner, allowing customers to grasp the inherent value first-hand.

Anticipating and Responding to Evolving Consumer Preferences

You might have a primary sales channel now, but consumers’ evolving expectations will likely challenge all your current selling strategies in the not-to-distant future. Ultimately, consumers will force the broad adoption of omnichannel functionality in all industries.

This means it is absolutely imperative for merchants to monitor consumer preferences carefully, anticipate future changes, and take a proactive approach to innovation.

If you’d like help identifying the unique opportunities and risks associated with your client base, contact Chargebacks911® today. We manage billions of transactions each year, meaning we have a detailed understanding of consumer activity in more than 26 industries. Our team of experts is waiting to discuss what we know about your target audience.


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