In the last year, when e-commerce grew by 35% at the regional level, local consumers were distinguished by some peculiarities compared to their Latin American peers: tried more new brandsThey were mobilized to seek better prices and were encouraged to try less essential products. With these characteristics, 46% of Argentine buyers (two percentage points more than the average for the region) were encouraged to buy online in a new segment, according to a study carried out by Kantar and presented by Google, on the new consumer habits of Argentines in retail.
According to this survey, 43% of buyers acknowledged having bought their products online, specially in categories with greater complexity and cost like technology. In this segment, 65% of buyers did it online, and clothing (45%). This trend still has room to continue growing, according to Google analysts: by 2021 Argentine consumers expect to increase their online purchase by up to 47% regardless of the restrictions associated with the pandemic, which would represent a growth of 4 percentage points compared to those who claim to have bought online in 2020.
In addition to having bought more online, Argentines they were encouraged to explore the web looking for new categories: “This means that these consumers were faced for the first time with a digital shopping experience of categories that they had not bought before that way. This behavior could be seen mainly in the category of beauty, household goods and technology products, mainly laptops and smart televisions ”, explained Evangelina Suárez, Commercial Director for the Retail Industry at Google.
Beyond what happened in 2020, when the digital purchasing process accelerated, in this first quarter of the year, what was seen -according to the experience they have in Google- is that one in three consumer searches (28%) are brands. “Of the top five, the first three are from clothing, footwear and accessories and the other two are technology, particularly cell phones, ”Suárez said.
It happens that last year, according to the analyst, many people delayed consumption of clothing (with the exception of shoes and sportswear), and today they are more encouraged to buy other types of garments because they also see that many brands are also giving the possibility of returning the product, if it does not serve the buyer, “he explained.
Why are people buying online?
.According to the survey, for 55% of Argentines the main reason was convenience, followed by prices and discounts (51%), inventory availability (31%) and finally, hygiene (29%) and the wide variety of products (21%).
In addition, the habit changes are based on some basic concerns: eight out of 10 online retail buyers consider it an important factor that businesses practice safe hygiene in your stores. “The second key pillar is personal finances: 64% of Argentine buyers are reducing impulse purchases and 25% are focusing on essential items, ”explained Marcos Aramburu, Google’s research manager.
Another piece of information that emerges from the survey – made among 25,000 users, of which 5,500 are Argentines – is that, in the local market, they are now encouraged to buy online: 40% acquired a new brand in 2020; a value that is 5 percentage points higher than the general average in Latin America.
Brand loyalty remains strong in the case of food and beauty products, where previous experience is relevant: only 17% of food consumers and 23% of beauty consumers tried a new brand. On the contrary, in articles related to clothing, home products and technological products, loyalty to brands decreases. In fact, during 2020, consumers tried a new brand in many of those categories: 61% from Home & Garden, 49% from Tech, and 46% from Apparel. The main reasons for this behavior were price and offers.
At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of uncertainty was generated about whether the retailers and the infrastructure of the system were going to be able to keep up of consumer expectations and needs around online shopping, explained in Google. In this sense, another of the relevant findings of the study is associated with the evolution in the shopping experience: 77% of consumers mentioned not having any problem with their online purchase, a trend similar to those who bought in person (74%).
Consumers only found inconveniences in buying online, in a very low percentage, in issues related to product delivery (7%), product availability (6%) and lack of information (6%). While in the face-to-face purchase, the main difficulties were: product availability (12%), price problems (7%) and problems related to the pandemic (6%).
As online commerce grows, more and more consumers are browsing the internet for products and services and researching, reading reviews and comparing prices. So much so that, in the last year, 74% of people did some kind of research on their journey to purchase. And in general, the higher the cost of the product they are looking for, the greater the prior research: in the technology category, 94% research previously, followed by home and garden (93%), clothing (74%), beauty ( 54%) and finally, food (41%).
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