From Impulse Buyer to Window Shopper: How Consumer Shopping Styles Can Make or Break Your Ecommerce Site

from-impulse-buyer-to-window-shopper-how-consumer-shopping-styles-can-make-or-break-your-ecommerce-siteEvery buyer is unique – which is true both at brick-and-mortar retail stores and on ecommerce sites. Some arrive at a store with a specific product in mind, while others window shop to kill time. As you develop your ecommerce site, it’s your job to decipher what buyers are thinking.

As you lay out your products and site information, consider these 3 shopper styles.

1. Window Shoppers

In brick-and-mortar stores, window shoppers tend to walk by – sometimes stopping in to see the wares, sometimes simply gazing through the window. Ecommerce window shoppers are much the same; they click around the site and look at different products, and then – often – move on without purchasing. Merchants often write off window shoppers as people who look and don’t buy.

But while window shoppers aren’t always actively engaged with the buying process, it’s important to remember that they wouldn’t be looking at your ecommerce site if they weren’t interested in your offerings. Often, they’re thinking of buying something you’re selling, but they want to get more information or consider their options before choosing a merchant. Or maybe they’re an admirer of your brand making mental notes about things they’d like to have.

Either way, they could well become leads. A great way to target window shoppers is to offer a wish list function where they can save products that appeal to them. Don’t forget to follow up, or they won’t come back later. For example, send emails informing them of special sales and discounts for wish list items.

2. Impulse Shoppers

Impulse shoppers are trickier than you might think to target. Anything that detracts from the greatness of the product is a reason for the impulse shopper not to buy it. They’re not going to spend hours researching the specs of particular products; they want to look at bold, bright images. They want to read rave reviews. They want to know the product has been endorsed by the right people.

Whatever you do, don’t bore these consumers by placing your product descriptions and dimensions in a central location. Ecommerce experts assert that research-oriented shoppers will look for that information on their own. Your best bet is to place product specs behind a tab or somewhere else out of the way. Instead, place the focus on high quality images with bold, attractive text and irresistible copy.

3. Stuck Shoppers

While an ecommerce site with endless choices may sound like a great idea, it’s really not. Some buyers will show up to your site knowing exactly what they want, and they’ll have little trouble filtering through the noise to find and purchase the desired item. However, most buyers feel stuck when they’re presented with too many different options.

Choice paralysis is a merchant problem, not a buyer problem. One solution is to be pickier about the products you stock. However, according to ecommerce site development experts, design is just as important to making sure buyers don’t feel stuck.

You can still be successful if you offer a wide variety of products, but it’s a good idea to give them some semblance of organization so that visitors to your store won’t be overwhelmed by information. Use filters to separate different types of items. You can also provide suggestions for products that might be a good fit using a buyer’s browsing history.

Final Thoughts: Meeting Everyone Where They’re At

Considering different shopping styles while putting together one cohesive design isn’t easy, but it’s imminently doable. You can make the process easier on buyers by making sure your ecommerce site comes equipped with the right tools and resources – like filters, separate information tabs, and wish listing – to support purchasing decisions.

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