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Microsoft Advertising Insights series #5: eCommerce insights from Wunderman

Microsoft Advertising Insights series (f.k.a. the Trusted Partnership series) with Episode 1: In brands we trust | Episode 2: Covid-19 recovery trends | Episode 3: Client trust | Episode 4: Value of partnership in retail
 
For this instalment of Microsoft Advertising Insights we are delighted to be joined by Hugh Fletcher, Head of Thought Leadership and Marketing at Wunderman Thompson Commerce to share their insights on e-commerce and consumer behaviour ahead of the festive season.  
Microsoft Advertising are helping you to connect to consumers with its new retail hub. In the hub, you will find the latest retail industry insights, consumer trends, success stories and the latest shopping ad solutions of Microsoft Advertising. During this interview, Hugh confirms their research shows that the demand for online commerce has soared during the pandemic with online purchasing accounting for 62% of all shopping vs. 42% prior to the pandemic.

Digital services will be key in the run up to Christmas

As consumers have increasingly moved online, their priorities have simultaneously adapted. Hugh notes that over 60% of shoppers identified free delivery as a key purchase driver, with availability (57%) and price (53%) coming in as close second and third choices. Yet, when asked what consumers would like to see change most in their online shopping experience, free returns (28%) topped the list.
It is no longer simply the product in which consumers place their trust, loyalty, and buying power but in the digital services which surround the product. For example, delivery waiting periods in the run up to Christmas will be crucial for buyer satisfaction. While the average customer is happy to wait 1.8 days, younger generations are less patient: 20% of 16-year-olds have said they would never shop with a business not offering next day delivery. Find more consumer trend in Microsoft Retail hub. 

A three-month mega-peak of deals

This festive period is sure to test the boundaries of retail e-commerce, as Hugh notes, the usual ‘Black Friday’ retail surge is likely to blend from December into early November and even October, signaling a three-month mega-peak of deals, discounting and delivery requests. Ensuring your brands digital infrastructure can accommodate this peak is essential to navigating this festive season. Digitization is key to this success, not only for those offering digital products, but ensuring that the entire process of online purchasing is robust and streamlined. Hugh asks brands to consider some questions when planning their e-commerce journey, “How easy is the digital process?”, “How can you use digital to aid the choice process?” It’s all about the digitization of services which sit around the buying process, with a key focus on delivery, availability and returns. 

It’s not just about the purchase online. It’s about everything that sits around it, right to the end of the experience.

Hugh Fletcher, Head of Thought Leadership & Marketing, Wunderman Thompson Commerce

A great example of that end to end experience is Microsoft stores who redirected nearly 80% of its first line workers to remote working in a period of less than 10 days in response to COVID-19 store closures. Discover the new role of the stores in the new Microsoft Retail hub.
 
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