Convenience and lower prices are drawing consumers to do a large portion of their shopping online, according to a new survey from Edison-based e-commerce distributor Dotcom Distribution.
Of online shoppers, 49 percent came to their browser for convenience, and 26 percent came for slashed price tags.
While just under half (49 percent) of consumers do more of their shopping online than in store, 59 percent of survey respondents say they prefer to shop virtually, and more than half (57 percent) do most of their online shopping via Amazon.
That marks a 13 percent increase year-over-year of Amazon-centric shoppers.
What are customers most concerned about these days? The data reveal shipping costs, delivery speed, packaging components, sustainability efforts, omnichannel capabilities, and specific products are top factors affecting buying decisions.
“Everything moves fast today, and there may be no better example of that than the e-commerce industry,” said Dotcom Distribution Chief Executive Officer Maria Haggerty in a statement. “Tracking how online shoppers are evolving year after year provides us with exclusive, actionable insights into what consumers value today. We encourage brands to leverage this information every year to create a more fulfilling experience for their customers, which, in turn, benefits their business and ours.”
Customers rate free shipping as the top factor on online purchasing decisions, and 80 percent of customers would add more items to their online carts to qualify for it. Speed is a factor, too, with 28 percent willing to pay more to get their things more quickly.
The online experience must be flexible, though: 84 percent of shoppers are more likely to purchase something with the option of returning in-store, marking a 10 percent increase from last year. Further, the ability to buy online and pick up in store or return in store ranked 6 percent more important than getting free returns and exchanges. Last year, free returns and exchanges were 31 percent more important than buying online and picking up or returning in store.
Consumers also showed concern with sustainable packaging, with 62 percent more likely to purchase from brands using sustainable materials, and 80 percent of respondents being bothered by oversized packaging. Alternately, 44 percent of respondents wanted gift-like packaging, but 48 percent of shoppers aged 45 to 60 worry gift-like packaging will result in package theft.