Three surprising facts about online shopper behavior and what they mean for your store

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Our friends at Yotpo have been studying the behavior of online shoppers and have some interesting data to share that can help you sell more. Yotpo is a great social review platform that lets customers read and write reviews, sends automatic reminders to write reviews, and even has a reviewer loyalty program. You can add their app to your Bigcommerce store for free.

Over the past year, we have been able to collect valuable data on customer behavior across a wide range of e-commerce sites. Some of what we learned seriously surprised us, so we put together a few graphics explaining some of this behavior.

All the data below has been collected from real shopping activity across a wide range of e-commerce sites (and a wide range of e-commerce platforms).

What are some of the most surprising trends we noticed?

  • People are more likely to share a positive review than a negative one
  • Shops that sell more expensive products end up making more money
  • People write reviews on the weekends (but make purchases during the week)

Let’s drill down and understand what these trends mean for shop owners. Our goal is to offer suggestions on how to use these insights to drive more sales.

People talk much more about products they love than those they hate.

Turns out that the adage “everyone’s a critic” doesn’t hold true for online shopping. The data shows that shoppers are much more likely to talk about products they love rather than products they hate. Five-star reviews are shared across social networks 85 times more than one-star reviews.

What does it mean for your store?
This is pretty great news for online merchants. If people are more likely to talk about a product they love, then you don’t have to worry so much about negative reviews. People aren’t as likely to spread these. This means you can feel free to put up a product you’re not sure people are going to love. Take chances!

Lower prices don’t always mean more sales.

This one is somewhat counterintuitive: online, cheaper isn’t always better. It seems there is a correlation between how expensive a store’s products are and how much that store is likely to sell. Across shops and platforms, we see this again and again: shops that sell products for around $1,000 have sales that are significantly higher than those that sell products for around $1 – $100. However, there is a catch: Once you pass the $1,000 mark, your sales are likely going to plummet.

What does it mean for your store?
If you’re a shop owner, this means you may want to focus on selling more unique — and possibly more high-end — products. We think this trend is occurring because online shoppers are jaded with run-of-the mill products. There are simply too many similar options. Make sure your products stand out from the crowd. Don’t worry if it costs you more to make something of high quality — your shoppers will reward you for it!

Shoppers don’t leave reviews at the same time they buy.

It turns out that Saturday is an anomaly, as far as online shopping is concerned. On Saturday, the amount of purchases shoppers make drops significantly. But at the same time, people leave more reviews on Saturday than they do on any other day. Why does this happen? Maybe people only get to try their new products over the weekend, so they end up writing about them then.

What does it mean for your store?
Knowing that shoppers are more likely to leave reviews over the weekend lets you tailor your incentives to increase both reviews and sales. Offer a coupon, valid only during the week, for any review that is left on a Saturday. In addition, consider sending your shoppers reminders on the weekends, encouraging them to leave you reviews.

Do you have any other ideas about how to use this data to help drive sales and engagement? We’d love to hear your thoughts!









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  • http://www.yotpo.com Justin Butlion

    Hey Rien,

    Send me an email to justin@yotpo.com and I’ll see what I can dig up for you.

  • john

    as someone who lives in a remote community, the net has allowed me to source just about anything. those who provide pre-costed delivery will generally not deliver “off grid”, as they will have an arrangement with a courier. These business’ will generally not consider changing method or carrier either, though other services are available.

  • http://www.lovemissmarie.com Tierra Booker

    Thank you so much for this post!

  • http://www.pestcontrolamerica.com bob@allpest.com

    Here is what I notice having several online stores. Free Shipping is not always better then customer paid shipping. Especially when purchasing multiple items. I have tried offering free shipping. This means increasing the advertised price of products you sell. Initially online shoppers are comparing prices of the products they wish to purchase. Including the shipping fee into the price of the product puts you at a disadvantage. Whenever I have tried offering free shipping, my sales plummet. (Because as we all know, shipping is never free)

    By not offering free shipping I can lower the price of the products I sell and add shipping in the cart or at checkout. Not only is this good for my business, it is a better value for my customers in the long run. Especially when customers order multiple items. In that case it is almost always cheaper to pay my shipping fee at checkout.

    Single item purchases may be cheaper at sites offering free shipping depending on where you are having single items shipped to. However, I very rarely have orders with just one item ordered.

    So what are your views on Free Shipping, any stats on it?

  • http://www.grampianspure.com Rien

    Really enjoyable article David.
    Is there anyway of getting more data on the sales between $500-$1000?
    I sell organic skin care, and whilst we like to think its the best, I don’t see us ever selling the products in that price range.
    Was it particular products or a niche that had those sales figures?
    Cheers,
    Rien

  • http://www.yotpo.com Justin Butlion

    Thanks David for publishing our guest post on your impressive blog. I would like to invite any of your readers who have any follow up questions or comments to please comment below or contact me directly at justin@yotpo.com