Consumer behavior in an online store

| Author: Maciej Nowacki
Rich contentProduct card

The shopping process in online stores is quite different from the one we know from stationary shopping. The postcovid reality has significantly influenced the development of e-commerce and consumer behavior – today they expect more personalized and in-depth communication in online stores, meanwhile getting mostly technical information and tedious specifications. So what behavior and needs are worth paying attention to?

What is consumer behavior?


By way of introduction, let’s start by explaining what consumer behavior is. As is usually the case with definitions, it is impossible to point to the only correct one, as the literature makes various attempts to describe the phenomenon. Nevertheless, a common element in many studies is the definition of consumer behavior as “the totality of activities motivated by the consumer’s desire to satisfy his needs, which include: the acquisition, possession and use of means of satisfying needs”1.


Recognizing behavior and, in the long run, responding to consumer motivations is a strategic point in the good functioning of online stores.

What does the online shopping process look like?


The nature of the Internet makes it possible for consumers to browse the offerings of many different stores in one place to then consider buying a particular product based on specifications, reviews, prices and additional amenities. Online stores therefore have to face considerable competition and skillfully vie for the attention of their audience.


Consumers’ online activities are often complex, as they search for specific products on search engines and often go for offers from established retailers, where their main advisory is product information – product sheets, as well as reviews from other users. That’s why it’s so important to have the right user experience to guide the shopper through the buying process in a convenient yet precise way, allowing him or her to get to specific and clear information.

What do e-commerce customers pay attention to?


In online stores, consumers cannot touch the product or tangibly try it out. Thus, other elements that influence the user’s perception and allow him to make a purchase decision are important. The research conducted at AF.lab identified the components that best attract the attention of buyers:


  • Photos – allow you to put the product in a real arrangement, creating a context and acting on the imagination of the consumer; illustrate the features and functions of the assortment;
  • texts – written in the language of benefits in a thoughtful layout affect the imagination and provide valuable information about the product, often dispelling many doubts;
  • interactive modules – encouraging the audience to interact and learn more about the information or how the sales item works.


The aforementioned elements find their application in product cards, which create an information and sales space. Attractive presentation and thoughtful UX guide consumers through an informed buying decision process.

Online consumer decision-making research


The digital shopping space, which has grown in strength due to the recent pandemic, is governed by its own rules strongly influencing consumer decisions. So we attempted to investigate whether rich content cards are an important element in the consumer choice process.


For this purpose, a variety of methods were used:


  • eyetracking – by using this technique it was possible to determine which components of the product cards most effectively attracted the attention and gaze of the respondents.
  • texts – written in the language of benefits in a thoughtful layout affect the imagination and provide valuable information about the product, often dispelling many doubts;
  • EEG studies – allowed observation of participants’ emotions and level of engagement during interaction with the product.
  • questionnaires and in-depth interviews – with their help it was possible to accurately interpret the results of the entire survey.


The results of the research ensured that the factors that most engage the viewer and significantly influence consumers’ purchase decisions and their willingness to make a purchase were highlighted.

What factors influence consumer decisions?


The aforementioned research at AF.lab allowed us to isolate the issue influencing the consumer decision:


  • product presentation – scored highest among survey participants, thus playing a key role in rich content cards;
  • extended description – respondents noted the importance of attractive and helpful texts about the product, while keeping the message simple;
  • Technology and construction features – respondents stressed the importance of communicating technical specifics in an understandable and clear manner;
  • brand – the recognition and trust in the product’s manufacturer also proved important to participants, which for many was a big incentive to buy.


The result of the survey shows that respondents are more likely to purchase products that are included in a specific template that meets their purchasing needs. Product cards are a tool that allows for extensive communication and engaging messaging, for which they are used:


  • drop-down descriptions,
  • colorful icons,
  • interactive buttons.

Additional factors affecting decision-making


Respondents taking part in our research also frequently mentioned other factors that have a not inconsiderable influence on their purchasing decisions. The most frequent attention was paid to:


  • durability of the device,
  • Quality,
  • reliability,
  • design,
  • price.


This shows what issues to consider when creating product cards, general online store offerings and designing user experiences. The above-mentioned factors, such as quality and design, can be placed in interactive mechanisms of product cards, which will certainly focus consumer interest and distinguish the product from the competition.

1 Samuk G., Sidorovich I., Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behavior, “Academy of Management” 2021, no. 5 (3), pp. 76-77.

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