June 20, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
A new study just released by PowerReviews and the E-tailing Group sheds a lot of light on the shopping habits of ecommerce solution users. Turns out that a lot of shoppers are super-savvy when making purchases online. The study showed longer research times when buying goods online versus brick and mortar purchases.
Of those surveyed, seventy percent say that they spent at least a day to research their purchases before clicking “Buy.” Those same respondents say that online research takes up about 75% of their shopping time when buying something online. Though it’s not the same as when someone takes an hour in a brick-and-mortar store before picking out one item and bringing it to the cash register, it does signal a huge amount of forethought on the part of online shoppers.
Though this trend is shifting, one reason for this longer-term research (not discussed in the coverage of this survey) could be the fact that most online purchases are for bigger-ticket items (TVs, other consumer electronics, etc.). The vast outlets for these kinds of consumer products has left buyers “spoiled for choice.” With numerous different ecommerce solutions selling the same products for different prices, as well as numerous different versions of the same product (sizes, resolutions, hard drive capacities, etc.), people want to make sure that they are getting the best value for their money – especially in these tight economic times. But really, when have people ever had extra money to just throw away?
The increased access to information about products, in the form of free, unbiased, and unpaid reviews from professionals and other shoppers has also broadened the channels by which prospective buyers can do their research. The survey found that 60% of shoppers turned to Amazon.com to check prices and gather research information. The Amazon ecommerce solution features a customer feedback function which allows past shoppers to comment on their experiences with the products. 85% of survey respondents stated that Amazon was “a factor” in their online shopping cycle. More and more shoppers are also turning to social networks to get feedback from their friends and families about the products they might want to buy.
Smartphones and their own research and ecommerce solution apps have also changed the way people shop in brick-and-mortar stores. More than 30% of smartphone users say that they have used their phones inside stores to access coupons or special offers and get more information on a product before buying it. People are also becoming more comfortable using their phones to scan barcodes and QR codes to get more info as well. The face of shopping, online and “real world,” has been changing for years and it’s never going to be the same.