Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Online shoppers driven by convenience more than price

A new report by Questus shows that just over three-quarters of the 575 US shoppers surveyed said they shop online to save time, two-thirds cited the ability to shop 24/7, and three-fifths liked the lack of crowds. Just under half said they shopped online to save money.

All this shows that it is convenience not price that is the main driver of online shopping, despite the two-thirds saying that better prices would increase their likelihood of buying online.

Underscoring this conclusion are the figures for various changes that respondents said would increase their propensity for buying online:
38% - better product descriptions,
35% - better pictures,
35% - no registration,
31% - easier navigation, easier checkout and better return policies,
25% - reviews and customer ratings.

Action: All the items on this wish list are within your reach. They don't even require much investment, just some attention.


Anonymous said...

Notice how laziness it a top priority for Americans, even when it comes to shopping. In the UK culture where shops are more local and shopping can be considered a pastime, maybe value would hold greater importance?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the US and UK customers are that different in terms of laziness. If anything offline shopping is easier in the US than the UK because parking is generally very easy (and free) and shops are gathered in climate controlled malls. Getting into the average British town and finding a parking space is not quick or easy.

In addition, I think that US consumers are more price driven than their UK cousins - look at the success of Walmart. US supermarkets are filled with far more cheap nasty food than UK supermarkets, where freshness & quality seem more important.

In conclusion I would say that US consumers are more price driven in general than UK consumers and that the barriers to offline shopping are lower in the US than the UK. So I would bet that the UK results of a similar survey to this one would be broadly in line with the US results.

Anonymous said...

US online shoppers look to the internet for research prior to making either a online or offline purchase. Its time management, not laziness. With the quantity of retailers in the US and the choices they offer it can become paralyzing trying to make even the most mundane purchase. (Think of how many types of jeans or DVD players a consumer has to select from today) Online shopping is the best way to efficiently filter through the choices and make more informed purchases. Comparison shopping engines are also becoming more powerful filters for consumers making shopping even more convenient online.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, online shoppers will spend 40% more this Christmas then last year, but I don’t think this figure increase is necessarily down to convenience or price. I think of Internet shopping as simply taking sales from one part of the retail mix and transferring it to another, without necessarily adding a huge amount of extra sales to the overall pot.
Often Internet sales figures are inflated with the sale of concert tickets, travel bookings, insurance sales or car hire, which is often included in the calculation of retail sales.
Perhaps the way forward isn’t to just put products online and expect things to just sell because it’s cheaper. An ecommerce site should become a natural extension of the retailer's brand and its associated values.
Just look at Marks & Spencer. They took so long to enter the internet retailing world is indicative of the fact that they appreciate the need to get the bricks and mortar aspects of retailing right first.