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88 percent of US consumers research products online to buy in-store

By Kristopher Fraser


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And people thought that shopping in stores was going to die. A new report released by the Ecommerce Foundation revealed that 88 percent of consumers research products online before buying in-store. This indicates that most consumers take an omnichannel approach to shopping. So, no, brick-and-mortar isn't dead after all. Moreover, in-store pickup of online purchases is ranked as one of the most popular website features for consumers, and 68 percent of consumers are satisfied with their experience of ordering online and picking up in-store.

The majority of online shoppers are between 18 and 34 years old, with their average online spending increasing every year. An estimated 75 percent of internet users reach for any device to purchase products online, but online shoppers claim to have the most enjoyable shopping experience using desktop and laptop devices. However, most consumers shop on their mobile devices for something specific as opposed to just browsing around. Although consumers as a whole prefer desktop/laptop devices for online shopping, 76 percent of mobile users shop on smartphones because it saves time. Companies still have improvements to make for mobile consumers, as 67 percent find the main impediments to shopping via mobile devices the small pages and links, making their shopping experience more difficult.

Consumers taking a more omnichannel approach to shopping

D.J. Murphy, editor-in-chief of Card Not Present, mentions that U.S. merchants have "a lot of ground to make up for." He foresees that e-commerce businesses who do not adapt a mobile strategy will quickly fall behind. Additionally, e-commerce companies are raising consumer expectations by changing/advancing future delivery services. In the coming years, drones will be utilized to spearhead same-day delivery, contributing to delivery expectations more similar to the European e-shopper mentality. On the other hand, U.S. consumers tend to think foreign websites are less convenient when compared to domestic websites, which may actually slow the pace of innovation for cross-border e-commerce. Americans who do shop cross-border encounter difficulties related to return policies and long shipping period, particularly from European countries.

According to a Business Insider report from 2015, mobile shoppers can get so frustrated with the buying experience that they are far more likely to abandon their cart. For example, in the second quarter of 2015, U.S. adults spent 59 percent of their time on a mobile device and 41 percent on a desktop; however, only 15 percent of sales were generated on mobile devices, while 85 percent were realized through desktop transactions.

Regarding challenges for firms, 36 percent of online shoppers feel the most frustrating aspect of the checkout process to be filling in the same information repeatedly. Moreover, unexpected shipping charges are one of the main causes for online consumers to abandon their shopping cart. In contrast, 74 percent of online consumers most value the ‘easy checkout’ feature on a website, making it one of the most important features to consumers, second only to free online shopping.

photo: via letstalkpayments.com
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