Where are your shoppers coming from?

Compete.com has released a very interesting study that all ecommerce store owners should read. This study polled online shoppers about where the look for items to buy, how they shop and what they shop for. I think that although the results may seem as expected… the missing element is how it applies to your business, and what growth in the particular metric you might expect in the future.

Let’s kick this off with polled data …

How frequently do you use the following tools when shopping online?

Note the green and red areas where I have noted what I believe to be expected growth/decline of these metrics in the coming year.

I think, and this is my own opinion (take it or leave it), that the areas noted will grow or decline for many reasons, not withstanding the new push among search engines for real time results and the weight they do and will carry in the future.

Coupon sites will continue to grow as they continue to gain authority and social media love from their users… As they rank better, they will be used more frequently. Look for many of these higher ranking sites to start offering “premium” paid types services and exposure.

Emails advertising I believe will decline for a good many reasons, mostly because people are generally irritated by spam mail. Shoppers are even afraid to create accounts on websites for “fear of spam”. Secondly, your email shoppers are far more likely to be a one hit wonder. They shop for price and have little or no loyalty…. IMPULSE

Product reviews is a tricky one…. and while they can be very effective, I believe they will soon be so abused that no one will trust them. Face it, how do you know a “real shopper” said that instead of a savvy marketer? You don’t, and just like many other diseases the web has caused, “fear of fake reviews” will in my opinion join the “fear of shipping” eBay disease in record time.

Shopping comparison sites and portals will continue to grow. Here shoppers can get what appears to be a fair representation of products to compare, see and get information about them in a comfortable… No pressure setting. Everyone will have a favorite, and we will see these continue to grow.

Social networking for ecommerce is still a baby, but expect its effectiveness to grow. Right now for **most ecommerce sites, this is just something you do. However, as we see the decline of reviews and other sharing platforms like gift tagging, this will become the safe way to ask a friend about a product they bought, or compare products for sharing. People on Facebook will seem more “real” and believable, thus more effective. Niche sites are already and will continue to kick ass here!