The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed how people connect, learn, shop, and work. The lockdown and social distancing measures enforced by the government paved the way for online presence. Families bounded by long-distance geographic locations now connect through online messaging apps and social networks. Kids and other students do virtual classes. Most people in the workforce started working from home. For brands and businesses, brick-and-mortar stores have transformed into digital shops. These online shopping experiences have been widely accepted by modern consumers. 

According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, the rise of eCommerce stores has changed the expectations of brand relationships and product discoveries. In fact, a series of research conducted by Facebook about the online shopping journey in Hong Kong and Taiwan showed significant disruption among modern consumers. Such results are also implicative to other regions. Below, let’s discuss the key factors influencing online purchases on Facebook.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Have Addressed Poor Shopping Experience

The digital shopping experience has greatly evolved to cope with the rising demand among online shoppers. Today, Facebook uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer an endless aisle of products among its users. Via cross-border eCommerce, Facebook’s family of apps now offers searchers an infinite number of products that can fulfill their needs. These results with 48% of Hong Kong consumers spending more time shopping online and 90% of Taiwanese looking forward to continuing online shopping even when the lockdowns and social distancing measures are lifted.

Brand Loyalty Is Under Threat

According to a Nielsen Study about brand loyalty, only 8% of consumers considered themselves as loyalists of a brand. Gone are the days of singular devotion to a brand. Facebook and Instagram have allowed the discovery of new products and services that help online consumers make the wisest buying decisions. With these varieties of choice, the consumer no longer spends money on just a single brand. Around 57% of Hong Kongers have tried new products and services in the past few months. This also applies to 80% of Taiwanese shoppers. Globally, 56% of modern consumers find it extremely important to try out new brands. However, even though brand loyalty is under threat, it still is not dead. For brands to drive consumer loyalty, here are 6 universal drivers of brand love:

  • Build trust through ad personalization.
  • Elevate the buying experience through immersive shopping.
  • Respect the consumer’s experience and time.
  • Set trends through fresh and reinvented offerings.
  • Share values through educational content.
  • Surprise customers with the best quality services.

The main key beyond brand love is going over the customer’s expectations by being proactive in campaigns and customer service. Apart from promoting new products and services, it is important to provide customers with purchase updates and online channels to instantly connect with brands and businesses. 

Integration of Conversational Commerce and Payment System Becomes a Necessity

As modern consumers take more shopping online, their demands get bigger and smarter. They demand that social media platforms give them a better buying experience. These include 24/7 customer support and direct payment systems without having to leave the network. To answer such rising demands, Facebook enabled messaging APIs on Instagram Direct, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Such technology allows the use of chatbots to provide human-like responses to customer queries. As a result, around 53% of Hong Kong and 58% of Taiwanese online shoppers have completed a purchase because of conversational commerce. To resolve the issue of cart abandonment, Facebook Pay offers a seamless payment system among its users. They no longer have to leave the Facebook app to complete a purchase. With a pre-populating but secured payment process, online shoppers can use their cards to make a direct payment via Facebook Pay. 

Live Media Consumption Becomes a Trend on Shoppertainment

New digital formats allow brands and businesses to better connect with their audiences. A rising trend among social media platforms is shoppertainment. It is a strategy of doing a live broadcast to initiate live shopping. Around 64% of Hongkongers engage in Facebook live videos once a week, while 78% of Taiwanese watch eCommerce live broadcasts on Facebook with 46% making an online purchase.

Spending More Time on the Internet Makes Shopping Less Deliberate and Planned

A social media agency Hong Kong noted an increased time spent online by Hong Kongers and Taiwanese since 2020. Today’s global average of time spent on the Internet is 7 hours. As people spend more time finding people and products online, 9 out of 10 social media users took action to deepen their engagement with a brand. Comments, likes, hearts, and shares are common ways on how brands and businesses measure ads performances on Facebook. A video marketing agency Hong Kong reports that 63.5% of online shoppers in Hong Kong discover new products and services after watching a video on Facebook. In Taiwan, 47% use the king of social media to search for brands, while 87% of global consumers took action after seeing product info on Instagram. The actions include following a brand and making an online purchase.

Reference: 

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/online-shopping-is-evolving-beyond-missions-towards-spontaneous-triggers

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/address-decision-paralysis-and-poorer-shopping-experiences-to-stand-out-in-the-endless-aisle

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/delight-shoppers-with-a-personal-touch-to-stand-out-at-purchase-as-seamlessness-becomes-table-stakes

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/brand-loyalty-is-no-longer-stable-but-an-ongoing-conversation#