eCommerce Behavioural Trends From the Second Half Of 2018

In their Biannual Commerce Flagship report Global Web Index shared the insights on international buying behaviours from a survey of 113,932 internet users aged 16-64. There are lots of juicy trends which should be informing digital marketing strategies in 2019.

Woman shopping
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Customer Acquisition Journey

Only 24% of internet users cite Recommendations/comments on social media as a primary source of brand discovery.

In Summer 2018 I came across a Google insight that “consumers typically spend 7 hours over 11 interactions in 4 locations researching a brand or product before making the decision to purchase”. I used this insight to lay-out why you should create an integrated multi-platform eCommerce advertising strategy. So, what have we learned from Global Web Index’s data about where users are spending those 7 hours to go from being brand unaware to becoming a customer?

1. Brand Identification

Brand awareness is a difficult metric to measure and put a value on but is undoubtedly a hugely important step in the customer purchasing journey. Understanding where consumers are actually looking to discover brands should enable investment in brand raising activities to have the highest likelihood of delivering a demonstrable return.

37% of global internet users cite Search Engines as their primary source of brand discovery. This is ahead of Ads seen on TV (36%), Ads seen online (31%) and Word-of-mouth recommendations (31%). Ads seen on TV are still the primary source of brand discovery for internet users in the bottom 25% income bracket. However, more affluent internet users have driven the shift in overall trend to Search Engines.

Only 24% of internet users cite Recommendations/comments on social media as a primary source of brand discovery. Whilst Influencer content does not even make the top 10, the report does say that 16-24 year olds are 44% more likely to discover brands through vlogs than the older age ranges.

2. Product Research

Someone who is completely brand unaware is unlikely to convert following their first interaction with your brand. So where do they go next to conduct further research into your product or service?

  • 52% head to Search Engines
  • 42% call on their Social Networks
  • 36% rely on Consumer Reviews
  • Only 32% go to the Product/Brand website
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3. Purchase Pondering

Man pulling record out of record rack
Photo credit: Mitch Lensink

Once you have won the potential customer over enough that they are considering buying, what can you do to cinch the sale? The number 1 thing that would make 59% of internet users convert from a browser to a purchaser is Free Delivery. In fact, this is even more compelling than Coupons/Discounts (45%), Reviews from other customers (36%), an Easy returns policy (34%) and Next Day Delivery (29%).

This insight into where consumers are looking to buy products and what can convince them to make the purchase highlights the importance of investing in integrated Search Marketing into 2019 and beyond. Follow my contributions to the blog to find out more about digital marketing strategies, or sign up to the ThoughtShift Guest List, our monthly email, to keep up-to-date on all our blogposts, guides and events.

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