E-commerce: Decreasing Interest in Online Purchases Due to Reduced Need for Physical Experiences

The lack of effort from sellers to meet demands and provide a better virtual experience also leads to the loss of potential consumers.
Administration
15 February 2024
E-commerce: Decreasing Interest in Online Purchases Due to Reduced Need for Physical Experiences

E-commerce represents a vast and growing market, but many Brazilians still reject the service. The reasons explaining the lack of adoption of virtual purchases vary from a lack of interest, skills, and trust in online services. However, a specific barrier stands out among users: the fact that customers cannot physically see, touch, and experience the products. The lack of effort from sellers to meet demands and provide a better virtual experience also leads to the loss of potential consumers.

This finding is from an article published by researchers from FGV EAESP, Gabriel Nery-da-Silva, Marcelo Henrique de Araujo, and Fernando de Souza Meirelles, in the journal "Revista de Gestão (REGE)." To understand the reasons why some Brazilian consumers choose not to shop online, the researchers relied on the responses of 9,522 Brazilians to the national questionnaire on the use of Information and Communication Technologies in Brazilian households (TIC Domicílios) from 2018.

Individuals who do not use e-commerce can be classified into three groups. The first represents reluctant individuals who report lower interest, trust, and ability with virtual purchases. Individuals with a high level of distrust, but who may become more secure by understanding the operation of platforms, form the second group. Finally, there are the doubtful individuals who have the highest percentage of preference for in-person purchases, highlighting the importance of personal interactions in their transactions.

Betting on Interactivity to Reduce E-commerce Rejection Despite the different profiles, participants have a common point: the need to physically interact with the products they want to purchase. The lack of physical and sensory contact at the time of purchase leads individuals to opt for in-person experiences. Tangible products allow for more accurate assessments for the purchase decision.

To attract consumers, the authors suggest that sellers enhance the virtual experience through augmented reality, providing a more immersive and interactive experience. Another recommendation is to encourage virtual product research for items the consumer wants to acquire in physical stores or to visit physical stores to examine the product personally before making a virtual purchase. The article also suggests friendly return policies and the promotion of basic digital literacy by the government.

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