According to the Office for National Statistics, a study conducted between 2008 and 2015 has shown a large increase in online shopping. The study demonstrates an increase from 57% to 77% made by men, and 49% to 75% by women, although this gap is said to be narrowing. Even ages 55 to 64 who purchased goods and services online increased from 45% to 69% between 2008 and 2015, with the largest proportions of sales being in the retail sector.
A study by Tryzens on 1,000 UK consumers shows that an average individual shopper spends around £6,000 a year online, with the most active ages in between 26 and 45; middle income earners being the most active, lower owners spending up to 40% of their gross income online, and top-earners spending just 14% in contrast.
The combination of accessibility and convenience, the increased use of smartphones resulting in the rise of e-commerce, and busy lives combined with increased confidence in internet buying have changed the dynamics of shopping and produced Generation Consumer.
Times & Trends
Typically peak online buying hours are between 6.00pm and 8.00pm (although a recent trend has proved 4.00pm on Wednesdays popular for mid-week retail therapy). Volumes of internet traffic can be unpredictable however with peaks and troughs, resulting in sales enquiries some companies find it hard to cope with on an on-going basis, especially outside of office hours.
Live Chat Handlers
The most popular form of contact for internet buying is Live Chat, with eDigital’s customer benchmark service stating that it has the highest satisfaction levels of customer service channels at 73%. It’s a cost-effective and convenient way to handle enquiries as handlers can multi task, answers can be canned responses which are quick and accurate, and potential buyers don’t lose interest by having to wait until the next day for an answer.
Live Chat also is known to have the highest conversion rates out of all the channels. Extensive research done by analytics and cart abandonment companies have found that consumer interest drops off after 15 minutes which means being responsive in real time pushes sales. Additionally, Live Chat handlers can help close sales and up-sell products meaning websites are continually being maximised on.