A Global Change in E-Commerce Consumer Habits

welocalize November 14, 2022

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season are fast approaching which means the peak e-commerce season is right around the corner.

It’s safe to say that the last few years have seen an unprecedented rise in online shopping with disrupted consumer spending habits and behaviour causing a dramatic shift to digital that wasn’t expected for another four years. 2021 saw record holiday season retail sales rise 15% to $1.14 trillion worldwide.

But customer demands are always changing and this year has brought with it a new set of challenges for e-commerce brands with tough economic times throughout the world potentially causing a drop in spending.

Despite this, there are still huge opportunities. Over 57% of shoppers are planning to do their shopping online, with many starting their holiday shopping earlier to spread the cost and find deals.

Providing a great purchase experience is now more important than ever and should be a top priority for global e-commerce brands to reach and connect with more customers in different markets, and ultimately, boost online sales.

Here are some key considerations that are impacting consumer behaviour to help you get better results and drive sales in global e-commerce.

Focus on Values and Authenticity

Generation Z (those born in the late 90s and 00s) are the first generation of entirely digital natives and have serious spending power – over $140 billion globally and are leading the way with increased online shopping.

Having grown up in a fully digital world, Generation Z value transparency and authenticity in the brands they choose to buy from, and whether their values align. This includes a commitment to diversity and inclusivity and environmental topics, as well as other important issues.

Brands must be able to demonstrate this throughout their customer experience, and not to do so, means potentially losing out on around 40% of all global customers.

Content must be fully localized and adapted to the country or culture to build a stronger connection and trust with these consumers whilst delivering an authentic and consistent brand.

Prioritize Personalization

With over 80% of the global population now owning smartphones, platform and device habits have changed. Unsurprisingly, online shopping within a social media platform or app is becoming the norm.

Customers’ priorities have shifted with higher expectations and a demand for increased personalization. According to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide relevant and personalized product recommendations and offers.

Algorithms within these digital platforms and apps can learn customer preferences and provide relevant recommendations, offering increased engagement, a more seamless shopping experience, and ultimately, improved sales.

Leveraging these platforms, whilst ensuring your content and software are fully localized and functional is a vital component of this demand for personalization and key to a successful global e-commerce strategy.

Will Traditional USPs Cease to Exist?

Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and customers having to purchase according to availability, rather than preferability, customer habits have shifted away from traditional unique selling points (USPs), such as cost, quality, and brand loyalty.

The increasing convenience and access to alternatives offered by e-commerce solutions means more and more customers are now comparing products online before they purchase.

Depending on traditional brand loyalty is no longer enough. Global brands need to demonstrate their value and support across the whole buyer journey, focusing more on the experience than the sale.

Localizing all customer touchpoints to meet the local language and cultural expectations is a must.

Read More: Achieving Success in Global CX

AI Customer Support Solutions

Customers are pivoting to chatbots and virtual assistants for their immediate purchasing ability – over 42% of global consumers are now online shopping via voice assistants.

Something that may have once been done by visiting a physical store, consumers are now able to buy products in minutes by simply using their voice or via a chatbot.

For global businesses, your customer experience can be much more interactive and usable through the help of chatbots and voice assistants. According to Statista, the live chat usage has a 98% customer satisfaction rate!

And with people shopping all over the world, these chatbots and assistants must be multilingual too. Training your chatbot to speak multiple languages using conversational AI can help to reach and engage global customers to drive online sales in many different markets.

Further Reading: Your Guide to Conversational AI

In short, it’s clear that in today’s digital world, global brands that don’t meet the global demand for fully-localized e-commerce opportunities are going to struggle in the future to continue to meet their customers’ demands and achieve growth in global markets.

You might also like…

Check out our digital performance marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide’s e-commerce focused thought-leadership:

White Paper: Global Issues: The Threats Affecting E-Commerce

White Paper: Global First: Performance-Led Website Localization

Webinar: Global Issues: The Impact of Inflation on E-Commerce Brands


To learn more about Welocalize’s multilingual solutions for global e-commerce, connect with us here.