Consumers’ online behavior is evolving due to both necessity during the pandemic and new developments in technology.

The average person uses about 3 hours and 43 minutes of online screen time per day which would equal around 50 days a year (eMarketer) so where are users spending this time?

Recent trends show that consumers are spending their time and money shopping online:

  • In Q3 of 2020, “nearly $1 in every $5 spent in the period came from online orders” (Digitalcommerce360).
  • During a call with investors, Target CEO Brian Cornell “discussed how the company is capturing market share as more shoppers use the company’s website and in-store pickup options” (Ecommerce360). For reference, Target’s online sales are up “163.0% to $10.37 billion” during the first nine months of 2020 (Ecommerce360).
  • “During the third quarter of 2020, Amazon generated total net sales of almost 96.15 billion U.S. dollars” (Statistica).

Because of these trends, companies are continuing to adapt their platforms and understand where customers are spending their time. Entrepreneur recently studied how “the pandemic has changed the way we shop, with an increasing number of us spending a larger proportion of our earnings online.”

Instagram made changes to reflect this, changing the way their users shop by adding a shopping page on their app. This feature links to photos of products that are available for purchase and gives their approximate 1 billion users easy access to spending with the click of a button without having to leave their favorite social app.

This shopping page is filled with companies and influencers wearing or using products that customers can shop. The idea of other people liking or buying a product may be enticing to consumers.

A recent study from Forbes showed that “90% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing an item, while 74% say that positive reviews make them trust a business more. Online reputation matters, particularly now during the current crisis, when more of us are spending even more money online” (Entrepreneur).

Whether it be a positive comment left on a sponsored post, the sight of your favorite celebrity using the product you were debating on purchasing or a 5/5 star review on Amazon, customers are paying attention and people are spending more time researching prior to their spending.

Not only are users spending their time shopping online, they are also working online. In conjunction with the rise in work from home and a need for companies to have more digital access, the #1 cloud-based software company Salesforce acquired the workplace chat app Slack for $27.7 billion.

Salesforce’s CEO said in a statement: “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes.” Said Marc Benioff.

The combination of Salesforce and Slack “will create the most extensive open ecosystem of apps and workflows for business and empower millions of developers to build the next generation of apps, with clicks not code.” According to Slack’s website.

With all of these shifts, it is evident that it is not just consumers that are shifting their online behavior, companies are evolving as well. It is important to study these trends to understand where your customers are spending their time and money. This innovation results in new trends that may leave lasting impact even when individuals are not spending as much time at home. We are looking forward to tracking these new changes in 2021.