Onward, upward, and online
Online shopping is booming and shows no signs of stopping. Forrester predicts that by the year 2020, online sales in the United States will reach $523 billion and the number of people browsing will reach 270 million. This surge is being powered in large part by mobile devices that make eCommerce accessible anytime, anywhere.
As online shopping continues its climb, it’s a good time to step back and investigate some of the key factors that influence eCommerce. Which industries are leading the charge in digital domination? What features make online shopping irresistible? Why do shoppers abandon their carts? And what can e-tailers do to help prevent this?
Understanding consumer shopping behavior is what ShopTalk is all about. Vantiv and Socratic Technologies teamed up to conduct two surveys about online shopping behavior. Here are the results.
Almost everyone shops online
92% of consumers across all age groups made online purchases within the past 12 months.
Online merchants like Amazon and Overstock lead the pack
Big online merchants like Amazon and Overstock are the most popular destinations for online shoppers, with 79% of respondents making purchases on these types of sites. They’re followed by mass merchants like Target and Walmart (41%), and department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom (32%). Younger consumers (Millennials and Gen Xers) are more likely to make online purchases from mass merchants.
Other e-tailers have some catching up to do
Survey says that online home furnishings merchants fall at the bottom of the list at 7%, although this might be looking up. Online sporting goods retailers (11%) and office supply retailers (12%) also received low scores.
Online shoppers want an easy checkout process
Easy checkout is the most important feature when shopping online, with 77% of respondents saying so. That’s followed by automatic gift card redemption at 72% and previous purchase history at 51%.*
Personalized recommendations are the least important feature of online shopping
Individual recommendations are at the back of the pack with only 26% of respondents finding them important. The ability to order online and return in-store scored low as well, with only 29% of respondents finding it an important feature.*
If shoppers feel that a feature is important, they’ll use it
The most important features are also the most commonly used. Respondents report using easy checkout 74% of the time, automatic gift card redemption 72% of the time, and previous purchase history 68% of the time.*
There are some interesting discrepancies in the middle of the scale. For instance, 51% of respondents say that previous purchase history is important to them. However, 68% of respondents report using this feature. Similarly, only 46% of respondents say that wish lists/save for later lists are important to them. But 64% are using this feature.*
Satisfaction with online shopping features is consistent throughout
No matter the feature – easy checkout, live help, new customer discounts, etc. – consumers are overwhelmingly satisfied. From the top end of the scale with easy checkout at a 98% satisfaction level, to individualized recommendations at the bottom (88%), satisfaction with the array of features is high across the board.*
High shipping costs lead to cart abandonment
Shoppers are most likely to abandon their online orders when the cost of shipping is too high with 74% of respondents saying so. The second most popular reason is because they found better prices elsewhere. This is responsible for 52% of shoppers abandoning their carts.
In more promising news, safety and security concerns scored relatively low on the list. Only 20% of shoppers abandoned because they weren’t sure about the security of the online retailer’s website, and 17% reported abandoning because they didn’t trust the online retailer.
Men and women approach online shopping differently…in some ways
Women report making more purchases from online merchants, mass merchants, department stores, and apparel retailers than men. Men make more online purchases from electronics retailers and sporting goods retailers.
Women are more reluctant than men to make an online purchase if there are bad reviews from other shoppers. Women report this 44% of the time versus men at 33%.
Results are based on two separate surveys conducted over two months (November and December 2016). Results with an asterisk (*) are from a survey of approximately 1,000 consumers. All other results are from a survey of approximately 500 consumers.
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