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PERQ Consumer Insights Highlight Online Shopping Trends7 min read

Kristy Esch Administrator

Ever wish you could read your customers’ minds to find out what they’re thinking while shopping online or communicating with your sales team? Shopping behaviors and trends are changing as fast as the technology that fuels our everyday digital experience, according to PERQ Consumer Insights. From AI software to marketing automation, it’s imperative your company keeps pace with customer expectations.

Website data is the closest thing to a crystal ball we can offer company executives. To help your business plan for the future, we summoned the analytics wizards here at PERQ to sift through our clients’ website data.  With the data, we hope to identify online shopping trends and consumer preferences, as well as conjure up specific trends in the B2C industries we serve.

 

Here are some key takeaways we discovered after analyzing information collected from more than 104,000 online shoppers who interacted with our website software.

Consumer Shopping Trends Across Industries

Some consumer trends remained consistent for all three industries: auto sales, multifamily property management, and home furnishing stores. We then drilled down by type of business to show how the consumer journey differs, depending on whether consumers are shopping for cars, couches or condos.

Overall, our data survey found more than two-thirds of online shoppers remain in the research phase when they first land on a client’s website, regardless of what they want to buy. Avoid the common mistake of only marketing to the small percentage who say they’re ready to make a purchase now. Instead, offer research tools and helpful content to educate shoppers higher in the sales funnel and continuously engage those leads until they’ve made a decision.

According to our insights data, 15% of PERQ leads captured on multifamily property websites end up booking a tour. But before they schedule a tour online, 72% of those prospects went through at least one other interactive experience on the website, such as the expense calculator, pre-qualify or floor plan assessments, and 58% interacted with at least three website experiences before picking a tour date.

Consumers Prefer Email Communication

Email lead nurturing is one effective way to keep a lead’s attention during a long buying cycle, while also capitalizing on a consumer communication trend that’s changing how many of our clients follow up with certain leads.

 

Consumers ranked email as their preferred contact method, with an average 70% of online shoppers across all three industries saying they like getting emails from companies over texts and phone calls. However, it’s worth noting the percentage who favored text messages over a phone call varied widely among the different businesses.

Utilizing AI technology and consumer data collected on individual website visitors, companies can automate the email nurture process to make it more efficient and targeted. By delivering relevant content and incentives with well-timed, personalized email messages, your business can assist in a potential customer’s research, direct them back to your website to re-engage with your brand, and ultimately inspire them to schedule an appointment or visit in person.

Top Priorities for Online Shoppers

The PERQ data gave us insight into which interactive experiences convert the most leads to sales, how much engaging content increases time spent on a website and lead volume, and what consumers say is most important when companies try to earn their business.

 

For auto dealerships, the results to that last question were fairly even for all four choices. With only about a 10% difference between the lowest-ranking priority of “quick and easy purchase” to the highest, the top two picks were less than 1% apart with “good financing options” winning over the most customers.

It’s not a coincidence that our pre-qualifying finance tool on multifamily property websites produced some of the best lead conversion rates we’ve seen at 40% or more. Value and pricing were also top of mind for online mattress shoppers we surveyed.

 

Behind these statistics are real people making big buying decisions. We also wanted to know more about their lifestyles, personal priorities and what drives their behavior, so our PERQ team examined demographics and lifestyle data gathered from the thousands of website visitors interacting with our software while shopping online.

 

We learned, among many findings, that empty nesters take our design style assessment far more than any other age group, that 35% of renters own a pet, and car buyers prefer a short, simple test drive experience over driving for miles with a dealership representative riding shotgun.

Consumer Data to Drive Business Decisions

The way people shop online is quickly evolving. Your company can avoid becoming a ghost by regularly checking in with online consumers to gauge product demand and what they look for when doing business. Many of our clients use website data to improve their internal and external business processes, such as lead management, property improvements and showroom amenities.