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E-commerce: how to measure perceptions of Internet users?

Boosted by the Covid-19 crisis, e-commerce is booming. Faced with this opportunity, all brands today aim to optimize their digital and omnichannel strategy. Strategir offers 3 tools for measuring the digital paths of Internet users.

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The questions brands ask about the online behaviour of Internet users

The Covid crisis has profoundly transformed the e-commerce landscape, in France as elsewhere. Two major consequences:

  • A plunge into omnichannel by most of the major retail players and their customers
  • An explosion of new “pure players” (companies operating solely on the web) aiming to take advantage of this trend

Digital strategy is now the key focus of brands. To be effective, it is essential that the solution is built based on insights (perceptions) of e-buyers, at several levels:

  • What is the decision path? From information search to consideration, comparison, to final choice. What touchpoints (including advertising) and content will influence the journey?
  • How do the merchant sites perform? How does the navigation work? What is the conversion capacity? What is the customer experience according to their shopper profile? Which UX elements should be optimised?
  • What is the impact of my e-pack and e-merchandising?
  • How to optimise visibility of my products in an e-commerce environment? What key messages should be communicated to convey the brand image and promote conversion?

Strategir’s approach to answer the e-commerce questions

To answer these questions, we combine technology and human expertise to obtain rich, reliable and predictive insights. The implicit methods of behavioural analysis are particularly important in e-commerce. Indeed, online touchpoints often have an unnoticed impact. It is therefore important to collect real, rather than reported, behavioural online data in terms of browsing, interactions and purchase. Then, ideally, ask the consumer questions about their behaviour to better understand what motivated them.

Strategir thus combines passive measurements, quantitative and qualitative online surveys, to activate insights and support the clients in their efforts of developing successful omnichannel e-commerce strategies.

Digital tracking

Digital tracking is collection of behavioural data of the navigation of tracked panels, to which we can reach out for specific questions.

The members of this panel have agreed to equip their devices (smartphones or computers) with a tracker that measures their browsing activities continuously. This also allows us to extract their past browsing data (for example, over the last 12 months) any time.

This method makes it possible to identify purchase paths and diagnose the online behaviour of Internet users in a category: frequency of visit, time spent, marketing mix exposure, etc. For a large number of e-retailers, we can also access shopping cart data: type of products, brands, cart value, and especially conversion rates.

Thanks to the digital tracking, we can perform real potential and performance analysis for brands. And by directly contacting the panelists, we can fully understand what motivated the final conversion.

Virtual intercepts

Virtual intercepts offer diagnostics on emotional aspects of the user experience. By intercepting e-buyers during their actual purchase process and observing them, we can better detect and understand pain points: sources of frustration and elements that are simply not seen.

In concrete terms, as soon as shoppers land on the merchant site, a pop-up message intercepts the shoppers (e-buyers) to offer them an opportunity to participate in the study by sharing their shopping session with an interviewer. With a click, they arrive on our survey platform and answer a few screening questions. If they qualify and confirm their participation, they will be taken to the lobby room: a virtual waiting room. They are then connected to the host who invites them to do their shopping as planned.

At first, the host observes the natural spontaneous behaviour of the customer, then probe them to explain reasons behind their actions.

This qualitative technique is complementary to a self-administered quantitative questionnaire at the end of the browsing session. In the latter, we measure the level of satisfaction, ask questions about the purchase mission and the level of pre-planning.

Eye Tracking

Eye tracking reveals reading direction, hotspot, fixation time, etc. It offers a very relevant and immediate vision of the impact of online visuals. Combined with the decision tree analysis, we draw recommendations on the layout of your products in an e-commerce environment.

This technique is also used to diagnose the impact and readability of pack elements. It often helps improving the effectiveness of the visuals (“Hero Images”) used on the site.  

The improved images help shoppers more easily find the products. They reduce the number unintended orders (e.g. a volume error). Finally, they improve the attractiveness of products.

The principle of Eye Tracking is to focus on the essential information that the e-shopper needs:
● Brand
● Nature of the product
● Variety
● Quantity

Because the “Hero Image” (product visual) online are re-arranged and smaller compared to a life size pack, the other pack elements can be simply dropped and only be showed in text descriptions to improve visual impact of the “Hero Image”.