The implementation of lockdown restrictions in 2020 forced consumers to change their shopping habits.
SoundInsights, which specialises in radio consumer insights, polled East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM’s audiences to gauge consumer behaviour in 2021. The first-party data collection service conducted its Online Retail Shopping Survey just before lockdown level 4 was put in place in June.
More than one year after the pandemic started, it seems the convenience of online shopping has become attractive to many. But has Covid-19 converted people into online shoppers?
In-store shopping vs. online shopping
Before the pandemic, 80% of consumers did most of their shopping in-store. But the lockdown forced many to change their shopping habits.
In 2020, more than half of East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM’s audiences said they intended to buy their groceries online during the pandemic. Despite their willingness to shop online for food, many consumers still preferred making in-store purchases.
The latest Online Retail Survey (June 2021) shows that 41% of Jacaranda FM’s and 33% of East Coast Radio’s listeners still chose in-store shopping. However, more than half preferred a combination of both in-store and online.
Their main reasons for shopping online included convenience (no hassle, time saved), comparing prices, and special offers.
According to a survey from Harvard Business Review, shoppers who buy both online and in physical stores tend to spend more on average, compared to those who interact with a business on only one channel. For retailers, this means physical retail still has a central role to play in their business strategy.
How many times do they shop online?
Most of those surveyed indicated they shop online once a month. Around 10% said they shopped online once a week. Groceries and clothing are the two main items they shop for.
Nearly 80% of both stations’ audiences said they used their smartphones to make online purchases.
High delivery fees remain a deterrent
Ninety-one percent of East Coast Radio listeners said they consider delivery fees when choosing which online store to purchase from, in comparison to 88% of the Jacaranda FM audience.
When asked what deterred them from shopping online, a massive 33% of Jacaranda FM’s and 41% of East Coast Radio’s respondents cited high delivery fees.
Internationally, the top reason consumers prefer to buy items online is the free shipping option offered by some ecommerce stores. Aside from enjoying free delivery services, online shoppers also want to receive their products as quickly as possible (28%).
False advertising and fake or misrepresented products are also putting off potential online shoppers.
Choice overload, delay in delivery, fraud in online shopping, lack of opportunity to touch/feel a product before purchasing, boring interfaces, and hidden costs are some other factors that are seen as barriers to entry into the online retail world for global citizens.
How do they pay?
Debit and credit cards are the most common ways they make purchases, but 23% said they prefer cash on delivery options.
Alongside credit and debit cards, PayPal is one of the most dominant payment methods available today with over 254-million users worldwide. Owned by eBay, PayPal is an ecommerce payment processing company that allows users to set up a PayPal account and pay a fee for each cash transaction.
When it comes to the audience choosing a desired online store and then looking for a preferred product, or choosing the preferred product first and then finding an online store, the divide was split almost down the middle for East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM.
While consumers are more comfortable making online purchases than they were a year ago, many still have some reservations.
The pandemic has increasingly blurred the lines between shopping online and in person.
Retailers are therefore going to have to provide a unified brand experience across all channels to create a fully integrated shopping experience for consumers. Brands that work on creating a better online customer experience will reap the benefits.
Special offers are also a good way to generate traffic to brands’ online and physical stores.
Eighty-four percent of East Coast Radio and 78% of Jacaranda FM’s audience are likely to pay attention to online retail adverts they hear on the radio. Proving once again that radio remains a trusted medium for consumers.
Radio strongly drives online engagement and has an immediate effect on browsing.
Over half of browsing that was identified as having been stimulated by radio, takes place within 24 hours of exposure to advertising, proving the power of radio once again when it comes to speaking to consumers.
Source: SoundInsights Online Retail Shopping Survey – June 2021. (East Coast Radio Retail Survey – Colony: June 2021. N:3701; Jacaranda FM Retail Survey – Colony: June 2021. N:4706).
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