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Why It’s Critical to Get Search and Shipping Right

National Retail Federation

National Retail FederationMost people have an item in mind when they shop online, according to a study released by the National Retail Federation today its annual conference in New York, NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show. That means it’s critical for sellers and ecommerce platforms to get search right. Buyers also have high expectations around delivery speed and costs the study found.

Some key findings of interest to online sellers include the following:

– Whether shopping in-store or online, consumers are typically seeking to buy a certain item rather than just browsing, with 73 percent surveyed saying that’s the case with stores and 54 percent online, according to the report. And in either case, 58 percent rated being able to find what they want quickly and easily as their top factor in determining where to shop. Shopping “just to browse” has shifted to being more popular online (done by 46 percent of those surveyed) than in stores (27 percent).

– Among those shopping online, 68 percent expect free shipping even on purchases of less than $50, with 47 percent saying they typically back out if shipping isn’t free. And 38 percent expect two-day shipping to be free while 24 percent expect free same-day shipping.

– The quality of customer service is also a top factor in deciding where to shop, cited by 44 percent, along with speed and simplicity of checkout (42 percent) and the ability to try out products (20 percent). Consumers said their overall experience with a brand or retailer is important in determining which to buy from and how often (79 percent each) and how loyal or connected they feel (77 percent).

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Researchers also asked survey participants about technological innovations and found nearly a third knew about 3D printing or making purchases through social media, while 24% were aware of retail messaging apps and online chat.

You can find the full press release announcing the findings on the NRF website.

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Ina Steiner
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.