A guest post all about emotional commerce from our payment partners Klarna.
We live in the age of the consumer; they’re in the driving seat when it comes to retailing.
Advances in technology over the past decade mean that shoppers can now buy that new skirt or pair of trousers on their commute, from their desk or even their own sofa. As a result, retail is increasingly about convenience, and shopping is something that needs to fit seamlessly around people’s busy lives. And whilst the always-on nature of shopping presents a great opportunity for retailers, merchants must also work hard to give consumers the great e-commerce experience they expect.
It’s imperative that online merchants develop a deep understanding of their customers, in the same way as if they were offline shoppers going into a store. E-tailers are becoming increasingly aware of this and are placing greater importance on getting to know their customers – from their likes and dislikes through to the times and days they prefer to shop. There is, however, an additional layer to the consumer puzzle that is often forgotten: the role customers’ emotions play in their online shopping journey.
In fact, a recent study Klarna conducted in partnership with Reading University revealed that shoppers are often influenced by powerful emotional drivers such as excitement, impulsiveness and anxiety – with 16 to 34-year-olds being more likely than older generations to be influenced by emotional factors when shopping online.
This means it’s now more important than ever that retailers develop an emotional intelligence (EQ) when it comes to consumers. Customers aren’t robots – their emotions will play a crucial part in their purchasing decisions.
Our research on emotion in ecommerce showed that:
- Two-thirds of shoppers (66%) say a stressful online shopping experience has caused them to abandon their purchase at least once
- 52% of shoppers worry they can’t afford an item, while 42% feel guilty because they don’t need the item – both of which makes them reconsider a purchase
- More than three-quarters of consumers (76%) use their online basket as a wish list
- 89% use the basket as a tool to review the cost
- Nearly half (48%) remove items when they review their basket to reduce the cost
In the pursuit of a smooth online customer experience, e-tailers can often overlook the importance of emotional drivers such as risk, trust, and satisfaction. But our study shows that there are many psychological and emotional factors that drive behaviour. Building an emotional connection with a customer is key – and can be a source of real competitive advantage and growth.
Four key ways merchants can integrate the emotional intelligence online:
- Ensure fluency so that the transition to the checkout page doesn’t cause an emotional purchase to switch to a logical one. This can be achieved by ensuring the checkout information is informative (to prevent security fears), while at the same time making it easy to understand and visually appealing.
- Consider offering a limited time discount on items that have been placed into the basket. Visible and time-limited price reductions for wish-list browsers can be a powerful trigger to convert them into buyers.
- Use your data wisely to tailor the online experience to the consumer, create a more personalised shopping journey and in turn, help boost loyalty.
- Increase payment choice by offering alternative options such as deferred payments, as this will make the transactions more achievable and appealing for customers.
Remember: the consumer and retailer journey is continuously intertwined, and cyclical. 52% of consumers are more likely to complete a purchase when they trust a retailer. Retailers that develop emotional intelligence are more likely to provide smooth and tailored experiences for them.
Combining consumer purchasing data with more subjective, emotional insights presents the opportunity for retailers to engage at a much more personal level. By understanding the role of heart as well as the head, retailers can create effective customer engagement strategies to nudge consumers to conversion.
Download Klarna’s Emotional eCommerce study: klarna.com/emotion