Amazon-quick delivery not a priority for online shoppers

eMiles member shopping

Free shipping, security and discounts are consumers’ top three considerations when choosing where to shop online, a survey of 1,043 eMiles members found.

The poll conducted in October 2017 asked respondents to rank 14 factors that determine where they intend to shop. 63% of the members said free shipping was their top priority, the highest among all factors, followed by security and privacy policies at 60%, while discounts, coupons or rebates and return/refund policies shared the third spot at 49%.

Site security is normally not reported among the initiatives online retailers embark on to build market share. Improving the shopping experience, streamlining the checkout process and convincing buyers who’ve abandoned their carts to complete their purchase are more familiar issues.

In fact, security is often only in the headlines once systems have been breached. Memorable retail breaches include those experienced by Target, the Home Depot, TJX Companies (parent of Marshalls and T.J. Maxx), and eBay.

Online security was very much in the public eye in 2017. Credit reporting agency Equifax announced in September that its system had been hacked from May through July, affecting 143 million Americans. Later that year, Yahoo admitted that all three billion of its user accounts, not just one billion, were impacted by a 2013 breach.

Online retailers may want to emphasize in their marketing messaging how they handle customer data and fight potential security breaches instead of relegating this information to an obscure link on the site.

Next-day or same-day delivery, an Amazon hallmark that many retailers are working hard to match, came in third to last in the list of considerations.

Factors consumers consider in deciding where to shop online
Shoppers more accustomed to buying via smartphone

Although 39% of respondents say they ‘rarely’ use their mobile phone to shop, 58% confirmed that they have bought physical, not digital products via mobile in the past six months, indicating a growing acceptance of m-commerce. The top three categories bought via mobile are apparel (38%), health and beauty products (32%) and grocery items (29%).

When asked about their mobile shopping habits, nearly 7 out of 10 said they ‘research online first before I buy anything’. While only 35% said they ‘plan to purchase more products using my mobile phone in the next 6 months’, it’s also a huge opportunity for online retailers to improve their m-commerce capabilities as consumers become more accustomed to shopping with their phones.

This is especially relevant for the traditional retail season. Google data from last year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday show that shoppers made more purchases via mobile than desktop, and that trend will only continue this year. As the search giant said, ‘Foot traffic is heaviest in the afternoon, but mobile shopping is all day long.’

Walmart’s e-commerce investment is beginning to reap rewards

When asked which retailers they shopped with, Amazon led comfortably at 82%, followed by Walmart at 38% and eBay at 31%. Walmart is seriously looking at closing that gap. In November, it announced that its online sales leapt 50%. The retail giant had been beefing up its online merchandise in addition to acquiring Bonobos, Modcloth and Jet.com.

Where consumers shop - chart

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