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Mercedes Oliveira

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Understanding Online Purchasing habits
July 28, 2010

The importance of Online Shopping continues to grow.  42.6% of UK Consumers are buying online at least once a week, with the average online spend per shopper of £71 per month.

Whether you sell via the web or not, understanding how people buy these days is very important.  30% of consumers will research products and prices online before completing the purchase at their local store, whilst 26% of people do the opposite and go home to buy online after seeing the product that they want in store.

These figures are from a recent survey of 2,000 UK Shoppers by eCommera.

Price was the most important reason why people buy online – as cited by 60% of respondents, followed by the convenience of having items delivered (51%) – great news for anyone in the courier industry.

So, how do people choose which website to buy from?

Recommendations from friends or family is the single most important factor in the choice of website to buy from, with 71% giving this reason. 46% said knowledge of the retailer from their high street stores was important.  35% visited a particular website thanks to their visibility on search engines, while 21% were prompted to visit a site by offline advertising. 

And, what turns people off from buying?

Well, the most common answer was poor images and product descriptions (42%). 

Other turn-offs were poor navigation (32%), concerns about payment security, finding that items are unavailable or out-of-stock (26%), no contact details (18%), and over-long checkout processes (16%). 

Having made a purchase, customers would be deterred from repeat purchases by receiving an order that wasn’t as described (42%), late delivery (19%), and poor after sales service (18%).  But, 45% would go to a website that they have used before.

So, whether you sell online or not, understanding how people use the web to influence their buying habits is useful to understand.

But, it’s interesting to see that the old rules still apply.  People rely on recommendations, are put off if the ‘product’ doesn’t look good, and won’t buy again if they have a bad experience.

Nothing new there.

One response to “Understanding Online Purchasing habits”

  1. Amie Perrill says:

    this would be a great useful for some people who want to start their own website. it is my pleasure to be one of those people who commented on your article . . thanks for give a opportunities… more power and best wished ..

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