5/14/13

Half of online shoppers pay sales taxes already

And more than half say they receive free shipping, Bizrate finds.

Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Charging sales tax for web purchases may not dissuade consumers from buying online, suggest new survey results from Bizrate Insights. The e-commerce services provider found that 50.93% of online shoppers had paid sales tax on their most recent online purchase, leaving 49.07% who said they had paid no sales tax.

That snapshot of e-commerce behavior comes from a survey conducted between April 24 and April 30 by Bizrate Insights of more than 9,000 shoppers who had just completed an online purchase at one of the more than 5,200 web retailers in the Bizrate Insights Network. Bizrate Insights provides retailers with services that include consumer ratings and reviews and surveys of online buyers.

The retailers in the Bizrate Insights Network include 40% of the retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 and 29% of those in the Second 500, a Bizrate spokeswoman says.  The retailer ranked No. 1000 in  the Second 500 Guide. registered sales of $184,000 in 2011.

Just less than a third of online buyers, or 30.63%, said in the April survey they were expecting to spend more with online and offline retailers in the following month. Just over half, or 53.57%, said they had received free shipping in their most recent online purchase.

The survey also found:

● When asked where they first saw the product they purchased, 28.83% of online consumers said “while surfing around online,” followed by 28.77% who said they “were looking for something specific” online, 10.54% who said “in an e-mail from a store,” and 7.56% who said in a magazine. Other sources were: an online or offline ad, 5.95%; a blog or other content site, 3.55%; Facebook, 2.21%; Pinterest, 0.43%. The rest said they first saw a product while either visiting a friend or just while “out and about.”

● Regarding the shopping device shoppers used, the most common was desktop and laptop computers, cited by 85.03% of consumers, followed by iPad, 10.68%; Android phone, 2.04%; iPhone, 1.91%; Android tablet, 0.33%; and other types of phones, 0.01%.

● When asked their location when making the purchase, 79.22% of respondents said at home, 17.28% said at work, and 0.75% said while traveling. The rest said they were either in traffic, commuting or involved in some other unnamed activity.

● 11.80% of respondents said they had viewed a product in a physical store before purchasing it from the same retailer online for the most recent purchase; 10.05% said they viewed a product in a physical store and then purchased it from a different retailer online; 78.15% said they hadn’t viewed in a store the product they purchased online.

● 74.94% of respondents said price was a determinant in their decision to complete a purchase online; 60.27% said the purchased item was offered at a discounted price; and 79.01% said the retailer where they completed the purchase offered the best overall price, online or offline.

● 33.35% of respondents said they used a coupon while making their online purchase;

● 72.25% of respondents described their personal spending habits as “frugal,” with the rest using the term “free to spend” to indicate they didn’t feel they had to stick to strict budget while shopping, a Bizrate spokeswoman says.

Bizrate is ranked seventh among providers of customer reviews and forums in Internet Retailer’s Leading Vendors to the Top 1000 E-Retailers. The company is a unit of Shopzilla Inc., an operator of e-marketplaces and online marketing services. Shopzilla is owned by Symphony Technology Group, a private equity firm.

Growing e-commerce sales will be addressed at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013 by Darrell Cook, vice president of retail strategy at Pareto Corp., a shopper marketing firm, and Michelle Garvey, chief information officer at apparel retailer Ann Inc. They will share their insights about expanding an online retail organization during a presentation entitled “A roadmap for transitioning to a web powerhouse.” 

Topics:

Android, Bizrate, e-commerce spending, e-mail marketing, free shipping, industry statistics, iPhone, legal and regulatory, m-commerce, mobile commerce, online prices, pricing, sales taxes, Second 500, Shopzilla, tablet, Top 500

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