June 7, 2012, 12:20 PM

IRCE 2012 Report: Consumers explain how they shop online

Convenience and price are top drivers of online shopping, a survey finds.

Lead Photo

Lauren Freedman at IRCE 2012 in Chicago.

Price and the ability to shop from anywhere, and at anytime, are the top reasons consumers buy online, Lauren Freedman, president of the The E-tailing Group says, said in a presentation today at the Internet Retailer 2012 Conference & Exhibition.

Freedman offered several tips on how to best win consumers over. Among them: “Build a comprehensive shopping experience that includes all the information shoppers need to convert online or in store; embrace category-centric content from how-to’s to video to engage today’s consumer; product information should start with strong imagery, supporting copy and introduce social elements as part of the shopping experience.”

“It really comes back to understanding your brand, understanding your customer and providing a relevant assortment,” she said.

But most important to selecting a particular product is price and shopping convenience, Freedman said, basing her conclusions on a survey of 1,033 consumers in April.

Asked about the most important considerations in making a decision about buying online, consumers listed the following, with the percentage of respondents citing each factor:

● Price, 80%

● Ability to purchase online for home delivery, 62%

● Ability to get the product within a day or two, 54%

● Ability to purchase locally at a store, 45%

● Advice/reviews from peers on web sites, 38%

● Rewards/loyalty points that may be tied into making a purchase, 38%

● Supporting content supplied by the retailer or manufacturer, such as how-to guides, 36%

● Ability to purchase online pick up in store, 33%

● Word-of-mouth advice from friends, 32%

● Advice from my online community, such as Facebook, 18%

Freedman also listed the following as being most important to consumers when viewing a retailer’s online product page, with the percentage of consumers citing each feature as critical or very important:

● Quality of the image, 75%

● Ability to see selected product color of choice, 68%

● Alternative views of selected item, 66%

● Zoom, 61%

● Product guides, 54%

● Product comparisons, 52%

Freedman also noted that 43% of consumers have increased their online shopping via desktop or laptop computers in the past year: 17% increased shopping on tablets, 16% on smartphones, 13% in retail stores and 8% on Facebook.

 

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