Uncertainty about the economy is driving bargain hunting, as money-related issues dominate consumer priorities when shopping online.
Price and free shipping stand out as clear favorites - with special promotions or coupons a distant third, according to a national survey conducted in late November, writes MarketingCharts.
The survey, conducted by Aegis Group's Synovate for Guidance, asked 1,000 adults in Synovate's eNation survey panel to select the most important factor when making a purchase online.
Some 43 percent of respondents said price is the most important factor, while 18 percent named free shipping:
After price and free shipping the field evens out somewhat - with 8 percent choosing special promotions or coupons as the most important factor and 7 percent citing features (like recommendations and product reviews).
Asked to rank the second most important factor when making a purchase online, 41 percent of respondents named free shipping, 24 percent cited price and 14.5 percent chose special promotions or coupons.
"The Internet has opened a vast new world of low-cost purchase options for online buyers. While the online buying experience has improved markedly in recent years, at the end of the day - especially a day of financial uncertainty - price matters," said Jason Meugniot, Guidance president and CEO.
"Sometimes improving site navigation or layout can help people more intuitively find the deals they're looking for, while well-designed product presentation helps them see the true value of a product. The most important thing any retailer can do is know what matters most to its customers."
Who's Not Buying
Nearly 19 percent of respondents said they don't make purchases online (22 percent of men, 16 percent of women) - a significant finding, considering that all of the participants in Synovate's eNation survey panel are online.
Interestingly, across most demographic breakdowns of the responses for the "most important" factor, those who care about price the least were the most likely to say they don't make purchases online.
MarketingCharts provides additional findings, including demographic data, from the study.
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