Survey: 79% Of US Consumers Have Shopped Online

Date: December 26, 2016

Study Finds Cost Impacts Purchasing Decisions More Than Convenience

TechCrunch reported that a new study published by Pew Research found 79 percent of US consumers shop online, with 51 percent having placed an order from their mobile phone. Additionally, 15 percent of consumers have completed a purchase after clicking on a social media link. Convenience isn’t the most importance factor in choosing to shop online, the report found, but rather consumers said cost and the ability to compare prices from different sellers and read online reviews was most important. TechCrunch comments that this is “interesting” as companies launch services that focus on convenience, “ranging from same-day delivery to subscription boxes of everyday items.” Similarly, General Catalyst investment associate Katherine Boyle recently wrote in a TechCrunch column, “In Silicon Valley, people strive to conserve time. In the rest of America, people conserve money.” Pew’s study also found that when determining whether to shop in a physical store or online, “it’s often a matter of price.” According to the study, “65 percent of online shoppers said if they needed to make a purchase, they’d compare real-world prices with those online and then buy where they could get the best deal.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

In addition to finding cost is often key for consumers when making their purchasing decisions, Pew’s study also found that when purchasing a new product for the first time, over 80 percent of consumers think it’s important to compare prices from different sellers, ask questions about what it is they are buying, or buy from the sellers they are familiar with. In addition, over 70 percent indicated it is important to try out a product in person, receive advice from others who have already purchased the product, or read online reviews. These findings suggest small businesses may attract more customers by catering to these consumer preferences.

Additional Reading

PYMNTS and Marketing Land also reported on the survey’s results.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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