Transformation of the sales process on the B2C market in the light of changes in the e-Customer's purchase behaviorism

e-commerce trade

Used laptop in very good condition - PLN 700, used smartphone - PLN 200, Internet access - PLN 29 per month.

I started my article with information that simply proves that today everyone can feel like a full-fledged Internet user and from the Internet user to the E-client it is just a tiny step.

The first decade of the 21st century showed that Poles have a new hobby - "Weekend visiting shopping malls". We have witnessed family trips for shopping, dining, and entertainment, which continue to this day. This period resulted in the appearance of over 400 shopping centers with a total area of approximately 9 million sq m. Large-format stores have accustomed us to making purchasing decisions under the influence of a wide range of products, promotions, radio and television advertisements, and subjective indications of the seller. Purchasing decisions were limited only by the time spent in the store and the store's range available at the moment.

With the increasing availability of the Internet, the mechanisms of consumer purchasing have changed imperceptibly. The research in 2011 said that we were more and more willing to buy online. Almost 50% of us, even then, knew about time savings and counted on lower purchase prices. A new category of customers emerged who, instead of reading advertising magazines, in which the passionately older part of the society was still looking for attractive promotions, began to spend their evenings searching for interesting deals in over 10,000 e-shops. Internet auctions have become a new sport after hours, and e-commerce was then already 32% of the total sales volume.

Today, the value of the Polish e-commerce market is estimated at approx. PLN 26 billion. It is forecasted that this value will increase to over PLN 110 billion in five years. This will ensure an increase in the share of online retail trade in total retail trade to 11% -12% compared to 4% at the end of 2013. The domestic e-commerce market is currently one of the fastest-growing in Europe. According to IBM, in 5 years, half of the value of sales on the Vistula River will be realized on the Internet.

Joanna has an iPhone

Jacek is a 33-year-old manager of a petrol station in Krakow. He chose public transport because getting to work by car was no longer justified by shorter travel times. In the evening of the previous day, his wife informed him of the need to buy a new smartphone in connection with the end of the contract period. Joanna, this is the name of Jacek's wife, researched offers on e-commerce platforms of operators, being one of 45.84% of women admitting to using the Internet in the purchase of household appliances and electronics (research conducted by gemiusAudience, May 2014). The analysis raised the question: whether to sign a new contract in the following arrangement: subscription + telephone, or to buy only a subscription and buy the telephone elsewhere. While driving the bus,

Jacek intends to collect the information needed to make the best purchase decision. He has been using the "Bitten Apple" product for two years and is convinced that his life partner should also be the owner of the Cupertino device. As you can see, the product selection has been made. Our Buyer begins the analysis of offers using the mobile network access on his Smartphone.

Interaktywnie.com, referring to the research of Forrester Research, states that one of the main trends in the industry is the "mobile boom". The number of online purchases made using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet in our country increased in 2011 by 722 percent - estimates Zanox - a provider of e-marketing services. M-commerce will be the most important trend in e-commerce in the coming years in Poland with an estimated value of over EUR 150 million. Based on the statements of various market participants, it can be concluded that the increase in purchases made by mobile devices will grow at a rate of 200% annually.

Our gas station manager starts e-shopping. He is the owner of an older version of the iPhone, so for the chosen one of his heart, he starts checking the prices of the gadget in the highest version. He visits the manufacturer's website to determine the basic components of the offer: price + warranty/service. Then he goes to one of the favorite "price comparison websites" and checks what the lowest price of the new device in the highest version would be. It turns out that the price is slightly and unsatisfyingly different from the price of the authorized distributor. At this point, 4 minutes of analysis pass. Our analyst goes to the various advertisements page where individuals and companies post information about their willingness to sell goods or services. When searching for an offer there, he counts on obtaining a lower offer from a private person and obtains one, only a used telephone. The price seems attractive but not enough to make purchasing decisions. The more that the goods are from Gdańsk. Jacek is a customer who still considers online purchases less secure than in a traditional store. Especially when it comes to a not cheap device.

After 14 years, so much has passed since the beginning of the website, we are used to and we even require for our shopping transactions on the website: virtual fitting rooms, shipment insurance, installment payments, secure payment methods, etc. This situation shows that this business is not in the emergence phase but the growth phase. This phase is characterized by an educated ecosystem of services related to this branch of trade because it is already necessary to talk about the branch. Banks, transport and logistics companies, and the insurance industry have noticed and are constantly active participants of this market, investing in this market, assessing it as prospective and even obligatory. At this point, the success of electronic banking should be mentioned. You can be sure that over time, for example, e-insurance will become equally common.

Back to Jacek on the bus. The next area of websites where he will perform the analysis is user forums, where he wants to check whether the price for the highest model is adequate to the differences it gives compared to the previous version. After reading over a dozen opinions, the decision to lower expectations about the model version became a fact.

The distributor's website, price viewer, and bulletin board are visited again. The new sequence of data collection differed only in that the forums also announced the possibility of purchasing from the manufacturer in the US. This option seems to him the most cost-effective. 15 minutes have passed and the last trip. In the evening there was a family meeting and Jacek presented the results of his analysis. As it turned out, the delivery date and the requirement to pay the entire amount did not fully suit his wife. She wanted to have a new phone now, with the option of paying in installments and that was possible thanks to the GSM operator. So, there were 2 offers on the table, the operator's offer and, as it turned out, the offer of one of the electronics stores. After short calculations, it turned out that the RTV network offer gave a lower price and the ability to pick up the goods in the store for the next day. In the morning after opening the store, Jacek completed the purchase transaction without unnecessary comments and questions to the seller.

This is not a guide...

It is not my goal to write a guide on how to buy an iPhone cheaply. However, the situation described above shows how the purchasing process has changed over the last 2 years. The use of the Internet as a medium providing unrestricted access to data, both about the goods and the conditions of its purchase and delivery, means that over 60% of purchasing decisions are made more and more often beyond the perception of the seller. Why 60%, because many entrepreneurs understood these changes and implemented solutions such as e-commerce or Web Analyses. Another question is whether the mere perception of this phenomenon is sufficient? Is my estimated 40% of perception sufficient? What impact will this change have on the currently designed sales processes and how can you actively influence this process?

Conclusions

Entrepreneurs need to consider changing the sales process. This situation will force the shift of the involvement of the human factor from the Presentation process to the Delivery process. At this point, it will be possible to conduct the up-selling or cross-selling process. Of course, the current functionalities of e-commerce systems (e.g. Hybris) offer the possibility of suggesting the purchase of additional accessories or services, but the behaviorism of the Polish customer, in particular, requires the participation of a "specialist" at this stage of e-commerce development. And so, the purchase of a TV is often characterized by the purchase of the device without additional accessories or installation services. Only after a while the adventure with additional accessories such as HDMI cable begins, not to mention the next purchase, which will be the replacement of the old DVD with Blu ray, to be able to use the high image parameters of the purchased equipment.

Another element of change is the delivery process. Many logistics directors in distribution companies will have to deal with the information that in the e-commerce market in Poland and the world, the competitive feature is not only the price but also the delivery time and its form. Today we are talking not about next-day delivery but next-hour delivery. We must allow new forms of delivery, such as: To Door, Pick it in next Shop, Pick it in next Place, Pick it up in a parcel locker. The specificity of orders will require the reorganization of warehouses and methods of transport. Logistics will have to use extensive internet systems using all available and future types of transport along with a business-contextual selection of them for the appropriate type of orders.

Finally, it is worth mentioning, following the board member of ARC Marek Lekki, that "57% of respondents declare that this year they will shop online more often than in traditional ones. The results of research conducted by ARC show that Poles liked the speed and convenience of online shopping. This allows predicting that sellers and suppliers who will be able to adapt to the growing requirements of E-customers can count on success.

 

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Adam Piętera - Sales and Marketing Director

He gained professional experience in leading companies in the ERP market. He cooperated with, among others, T-Systems Polska or QAD Poland Sp. z o. o. Author of many publications on the sale and implementation of ERP and CRM systems. His articles have been published, among others in magazines: "Manager", "Modern Marketing" and "Accounting Monitor".