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Convenience race heightens with browser tools and clever content

New research from CJ Affiliate has found that sales via browser tools like Honey and Piggy have increased by 349 per cent year-on-year. As retail brands face ever-increasing competition for mind- and market-share, the race to make life easier for buyers has resulted in the development of new tools and content programmes that are driving significant benefits for the brands adopting them. In fact, according to CJ Affiliate’s studies, brands publishing reviews, shopping guides and top product lists also saw gains of 117 per cent year-on-year.

“70 per cent of consumers wish that it was easier to buy online, especially during frenetic periods like Christmas,” said Jules Bazley, regional VP, Europe at CJ Affiliate. “It’s clear that retailers helping their customers to make decisions intelligently, buy the best products for them or their loved ones, and provide smart shopping tools, will really reap the rewards.”

Tools like Honey will automatically check the web for better deals, as well as searching out discount codes and offering cashback or credit when consumers buy from certain stores. Many of these tools exist as browser extensions, whilst others use their own mobile apps. However, this trend goes beyond providing intelligent software and creating content. 37 per cent of 18-29-year-olds now consult the web before making a purchase and 30 per cent of all holiday gifting during 2018 was done on mobile phones. This means that unless retailers provide a mobile-first, search-friendly environment where consumers can shop easily, then they risk losing clicks to simpler, more user-friendly competitors.

“It’s an absolutely critical time for retailers now, especially in certain categories,” concluded Bazley. “Online clothing and apparel sales were up 37 per cent during last year’s holiday season, so fashion sites should pay particular attention. Black Friday may represent a spike of holiday shopping, but the first three weeks of December as a whole are very significant for online retailers, so now is absolutely the time to act.”

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