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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1699 - January 07, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 3

Survey: Online Shoppers Value Convenience, Price, Product Selection

By Ina Steiner
January 07, 2008

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Ecommerce trade publication AuctionBytes.com has published results of its December 2007 online buying survey. Over 900 respondents participated in the survey, and they give an interesting perspective on what buyers deem important when shopping online. Highlights of the survey follow, and full results are published in the January 6th issue of the AuctionBytes-Update newsletter, available online now.

Online-Buying Survey Highlights:

  • The biggest advantage to online shopping was convenience, respondents said, while the biggest disadvantage was not being able to closely inspect items before purchasing them. It's not surprising to learn that 61% of respondents bought from online auction sites and 55% of them bought from Amazon, given that 83% of respondents sell online. But it's interesting to note that 50% of respondents bought from major retail sites - and 29% purchased from "mom and pop" sites. Only 3% did holiday shopping on classifieds sites.

  • A relatively small percentage of respondents said they shopped online primarily for price (6%). Instead, most said the biggest advantages to shopping online versus going to a mall or traditional retailer was the ability to shop at their convenience (45%) and because it was easier to find what they wanted (27%).

  • When asked which one factor was most important when deciding where to shop online, top answers were Product Selection (20%), Price (17%) and Security (17%).

  • Many said the biggest disadvantages to shopping online was that they couldn't closely inspect the item before purchase (44%), shipping costs (17%) and risk of non-delivery of item (11%).

  • When asked what method they employed most frequently to find items, 44% said they used search engines, and 39% said they went directly to a retail website. Only 7% used comparison shopping sites most frequently. When asked to rate various methods by how often they used them to shop online, 65% used Search Engines "frequently" and 25% "sometimes," while 18% used comparison shopping sites "frequently" and 34% "sometimes."

  • When asked which services they used to help them find products, 90% said they used Google, followed by Yahoo (22%).

  • Sixty-five percent of respondents "sometimes" (33%) or "frequently" (32%) use consumer reviews (such as Amazon Buyer Reviews and eBay Reviews & Guides) to help them make their buying decisions.

  • When asked to rate their level of satisfaction with their overall online buying experience, 61% said they were "Very Satisfied," and 36% said they were "Satisfied."

AuctionBytes also compared results from respondents who currently sell online with those who do not sell online. These results and many more interesting facts from the survey can be found in a two-part report in the January 6, 2008, issue of the AuctionBytes-Update newsletter, including which factors are important when buying from unfamiliar websites, and how shoppers found items online this past holiday shopping season.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Post your comments on the AuctionBytes Blog:

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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