Knowing your customer is key for running a successful e-commerce business. Who are they? What do they value? How do they prefer to shop? All of these insights can help empower you to improve your business strategy, enhance the customer experience, and boost brand loyalty.
In this guest blog, Jungle Scout’s research team shared the results from an external survey they conducted with over 1,000 adult U.S. consumers to learn about their buying preferences and behaviors when shopping on Walmart.com and in Walmart stores.* See the top 9 trends they discovered about Walmart customers and how they can influence your business.
*Disclaimer: The data shared in this blog is provided by Jungle Scout. Walmart is not responsible for the information or services provided by Jungle Scout.
1 They value flexible returns
More than a quarter of consumers say they recently purchased from Walmart.com because they appreciate the ability to make returns at their local Walmart (29%) and because they like Walmart’s return policies (25%).
An inconvenience of online shopping is the fact that consumers can’t physically experience a product before purchasing it. For example, a customer can try on multiple sizes of pants in a store before committing to the perfect pair. Online shopping requires consumers to put in the extra effort to purchase a product that may not fit and return purchases if they don’t work out.
However, Walmart Marketplace’s Enhanced Returns experience can help make the process stress-free for both customers and sellers. Sellers can lower their return logistics costs and streamline their operations by allowing Walmart to handle the returns process, and customers can order a product online and conveniently return it for free at any of the 4,700+ physical Walmart locations.
It is important to give customers flexibility with how and when they can return products they buy online because it improves the customer experience and builds affinity with your brand.
2 They have recently experienced big life events
It’s good to keep a finger on the pulse of the life events your customers are experiencing as these changes can have a massive influence on how they spend their money. Here are some of the top happenings in customers’ lives in 2021.
- 20% adopted or bought a new pet (and 24% have recently started spending more on pet supplies).
- 18% got a new job, 23% are working from home and 11% recently set up a work-from-home office space. These shoppers are likely purchasing more office supplies and office furniture.
- 18% moved into a new home, and of those who moved, 42% moved into a bigger home. Also, 13% recently renovated or remodeled a home. This means shoppers are likely to need new furniture, decorations, and other essential home goods.
- 12% of consumers set up a gym at home. Granted setting up a home gym isn’t a big life event, it is pretty cool and an important detail to know as a Walmart seller who offers fitness products.
If you offer products in any of these categories, make sure your listings and ads are optimized with the correct keywords to target these shoppers.
3 They are influenced by social media
More than half of online shoppers consider purchasing products that are recommended to them when shopping online (56%) and nearly half search for products to buy while on social media (40%). It isn’t enough to simply launch your product on Walmart Marketplace and leave it alone. It’s important to create brand awareness on influential social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
You should also consider working with social media influencers to test and review your products because 1 in 4 consumers follow fashion or beauty influencers online. These social media influencers can have a direct and immediate impact on consumer buying decisions, especially among young adults.
4 They are budget-conscious
In line with Walmart’s slogan, “Save Money. Live Better,” Walmart.com customers are looking for great deals. In fact, consumers ranked “lower prices” as the #1 reason they shop on Walmart.com and 41% chose to purchase from Walmart.com over other marketplaces because they like Walmart’s prices.
However, many factors play into setting product pricing, so sellers shouldn’t lower their prices simply because consumers are budget-conscious. For example, knowing the annual household income of your target customer can help determine your pricing strategy and help you decide which products to launch on Walmart.com.
Plus, the more competitive your offers are, the greater chance you have to win the Buy Box–which can increase your conversion rate with shoppers that are specifically looking for products with the lowest price. Walmart Marketplace sellers can set up promotional pricing to call out customer savings on Walmart.com with strikethrough pricing and ‘Reduced’ or ‘Clearance’ flags.
5 They have shipping preferences
Online shoppers have come to expect speedy delivery which makes sense why 32% of Walmart customers say they are looking for the product with the fastest shipping. Overall, 38% of consumers chose to make their purchase on Walmart.com compared to other marketplaces because they are able to get the products fast.
In addition to fast shipping, customers also value free or low-cost shipping options, with 42% saying they look for the products with the lowest shipping price and 31% of consumers saying they chose to make their purchase on Walmart.com compared to other options because Walmart offers free-shipping. With flexible, low-cost fulfillment solutions like Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), and expedited delivery options like Walmart TwoDay and ThreeDay delivery, sellers can deliver their products of all shapes and sizes, quickly and affordably.
Offering shoppers fast and free shipping can increase the likelihood of making a sale because Walmart shoppers value these shipping options when making purchases online.
6 They care about reviews
Reviews are a critical element in setting one product apart from another on ecommerce marketplaces; they can make or break a product or brand and have the power to influence consumer decisions both negatively and positively. A third of Walmart customers said they are influenced to purchase the product with the best ratings or reviews (32%) and product reviews that contain photos or videos in them (29%).
As a seller, you can increase your reviews in a number of ways.
- Provide a quality product but manage customer expectations. Sellers often make the mistake of overpromising their products. I’m sure your products are great, but they all have their limitations, and you need to be honest about those to your shoppers (eg. the product can’t be put in the dryer because it will shrink). Customers will be less frustrated with product limitations if they know before they purchase.
- Respond to customer messages promptly and with a positive attitude and your customer will be pleased to receive immediate attention for their issue. Providing excellent customer service wins over customers, even the unhappy ones, making them more likely to leave positive reviews.
- Make more sales! Reviews are a numbers game. Some customers are more likely to leave reviews than others so you need to increase your sales to increase your odds of receiving a positive review. You can increase sales by optimizing your listing, your keyword strategy, and your advertising campaigns.
7 They shop for gifts in different ways
The season of gift giving is never-ending, providing sellers with endless opportunities to target shoppers looking for the perfect present. It’s important to understand how these consumers search for gifts so you can adjust your keyword strategy and ad strategy accordingly.
- 62% search for a specific product (e.g., “scented candle”)
- 48% search for a specific brand (e.g., “Yankee Candle”)
- 47% search for a broader search term (e.g., “gifts for men”)
- 43% check out Walmart’s top picks or daily finds for ideas
8 They buy these products the most
The most popular product categories among Wamart.com shoppers are groceries, clothing, beauty & personal care, cleaning supplies, and vitamins and dietary supplements. As a Walmart seller, you should constantly keep your eye on areas of opportunity and expanding markets for product launch insights.
9 They are loyal to Walmart
A great benefit of being a Walmart Marketplace seller is that you are tapping into a loyal customer base and extreme brand recognition with 90% of the U.S. population living within 10 miles of a Walmart store. Brand recognition keeps customers coming back for more with one-third of shoppers saying they continue to shop on Walmart.com because they have always shopped at Walmart (32%) and because they are familiar with Walmart’s products and stores (33%).
Tapping into this loyalty means a lower cost of customer acquisition because consumers already know and trust Walmart and seek out products to purchase from Walmart.com. Customers are flooding into Walmart’s online marketplace with nearly 120 million unique monthly visitors. Out of the millions of shoppers, 99% of them make at least one online purchase per month and 20% make at least one online purchase per day.
Focus your efforts on optimizing your advertising strategy to target as many of those monthly shoppers as you can. Meet customers in search mode and leverage Sponsored Product ad campaigns to promote your products and highlight your brand in front of millions of Walmart.com customers.
You should also optimize your Walmart listings and assure you are putting your best foot forward with these shoppers. With tools like Walmart’s Listing Quality and Rewards Dashboard, you can make impactful improvements to individual items in your catalog. Remember, creating repeat customers is less expensive than the effort it takes to find new ones and repeat customers are more likely to tell their friends about the brands and products they love.
Know ecommerce consumers. Know the marketplace. Grow your sales.
Jungle Scout’s research underscores the rising demand for ecommerce and highlights specific Walmart shopper behaviors. This data helps brands get to know their customers, hone their marketing and advertising strategies, and increase sales.
As consumers continue to spend money online, ecommerce brands need access to critical insights such as marketplace performance, competitor performance and personal performance. Walmart Marketplace sellers can easily access these insights through Jungle Scout’s powerful ecommerce software solutions.
Jungle Scout is an all-in-one platform for ecommerce sellers that provides insights into business performance. Easily view your Walmart sales data and gain access to custom dashboards and flexible reporting with Downstream by Jungle Scout.