Why do so many consumers prefer shopping online?
Phew! At long last, Covid 19 pandemic is at long last drawing to a close. In the UK at least, a combination of rigorous lockdowns, social distancing, and a vaccine programme are keeping the virus at bay. It’s been a tough road, with all kinds of knock-on effects - a massive increase in online shopping being just one example. But here’s a question – what are the reasons for the apparently unstoppable growth in popularity of the online option?
Screens are winning over stores – almost every time
According to a survey by Jungle Scout, 43% of consumers say they would be happy never to shop again in a store. So, what’s the appeal of online shopping? Here are just a handful of reasons why shopping online is now so popular. Some may surprise you!
1. Free shipping
Free shipping may be the difference between purchasing online or grabbing an in-store equivalent. From a retailer’s point of view, providing free shipping can also nudge shoppers to buy more and “balance out” the delivery costs. It can also incentivize conversion and avert cart abandonment — a habit of 46% of consumers.
2. Lower prices
Price is one of the strongest factors influencing a consumer’s decision to purchase: when shopping online, 70% of consumers are shopping for less expensive products. Coupled with the fact that more than half of U.S. consumers (56%) say they are living “paycheck to paycheck,” it makes sense that shoppers are looking online to explore the most affordable options.
In 2021, convenience continues to be the gold standard. 37% of consumers say their online spending has increased over the last three months of 2020 — even while overall spending dropped. Consumers favor shopping online for ease alone. In a few minutes, you can order a product, confirm payment, and see its shipping status from the comfort of your home or in the palm of your hand.
Online Spending Q4 2020 (October through December)
4. Price comparison
Nearly 3 out of 4 consumers are becoming more conscientious of where they spend their money (offline and online). They can whittle down wishlists by assessing the competition and easily navigate from one product page to another to find the best price in a few clicks.
5. More product options
Consumers want to easily compare products by price, reviews, and features and have become more discerning in the product selection process. For almost all product categories, consumers prefer to shop online for greater variety. The only exceptions are essential products like groceries, cleaning products, and over-the-counter medicines and other items like beauty and personal care and alcohol.
With online shopping, it’s easy for consumers to search for deals, join rewards programs, and get promotions sent right to their inboxes. Shoppers have also turned to tech-forward solutions for more savings; 45% of consumers also use deal-finding browser extensions or plug-ins like Honey, Pricescout, and Amazon Assistant.
7. Search for a certain brand
54% of consumers would describe themselves as brand loyal. So what’s the top reason that consumers buy from a specific brand? Tied for first is consistently lower prices than competitors and superior quality over competitors, followed closely by good customer service.
8. Fast shipping
Consumers want their products delivered as soon as possible. 48% of online shoppers are willing to pay extra money for faster shipping, and 55% of Amazon shoppers would do the same. Amazon has solidified its position as the most reliable retailer in terms of speed: 64% of consumers say when they need to get a product fast, they look for it on Amazon.
9. Safety (avoiding public stores)
Despite decreased COVID-19 cases and strides in vaccine rollouts, more consumers are shopping online to minimize potential exposure by avoiding physical stores. 60% of consumers have a greater appreciation for Amazon now than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic; 60% of consumers say they are shopping on Amazon more frequently than they did before the pandemic, too.
10. See reviews
Social proof heavily sways consumer decision-making, too. 71% of shoppers are influenced by the product with the best ratings and reviews, and 68% of shoppers are influenced by reviews that contain photos or videos. The act of crowdsourcing opinions gives online retailers a big credibility boost by establishing trust between other consumers and the product.
11. Products only sold online
Some specialty, limited-edition, or branded products are exclusively available online. In that case, online shopping is the only avenue for purchase. Some direct-to-consumer brands like Warby Parker, Casper, and Allbirds built huge businesses entirely online and have since expanded to physical stores.
12. Find new brands
Consumers have turned to online retailers to explore their options. Only 12% of consumers never look for brand names, while 19% of consumers always look for a specific brand. By exploring their product options, shoppers can find new brands and create relationships with them more quickly.
Always here to provide the best online experience
Even with tighter budgets, consumers don’t want to sacrifice on the particulars — and they don’t have to. Whether it’s to cut costs, validate purchases with social proof, or have something delivered (or often all the above), online shopping is proving to be the modern consumer’s preferred way to shop.
Here at Ash & Dove we’re here to provide the very best online shopping experience.
With Love & Light Karen xoxo
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