Price Or Convenience? Maybe Both

    December 14, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Last month Nielsen Online released the results of survey suggesting that online shoppers prefer the convenience of online shopping as their main reason for participating.

This month, another survey says that price is the most important factor.

Price Or Convenience? Maybe Both

In November, WebProNews’s Mike Sachoff covered Nielsen’s survey, which had overwhelmingly high percentages citing the ability to shop any time and the time-saving aspect as their main reasons for shopping online (81% and 77% respectively).

Ease of comparison shopping was cited by 61 percent.

Low prices was their fifth concern, behind ease of finding the items they sought, with just 46 percent naming low prices as their primary reason for shopping online. Just 24 percent cited low shipping costs.

Nielson Online’s Ken Cassar suggested consumer preferences for convenience spiked during the holiday season, as shoppers sought to avoid crowds at brick-and-mortar locations.

These findings are in sharp contrast to market research firm Synovate of Chicago for Guidance, who says America’s uncertain economy is driving an increase in bargain hunting.

Guidance’s poll suggests the opposite of Nielsen’s, as 67 percent chose price as their first or second most important factor in online shopping (43% 1st, and 24% 2nd), and 59 percent (18% and 41%) of respondents chose free shipping as their first or second choice.

By comparison, only small percentages chose convenience factors like speed/efficiency of checkout (8%) or in-store pickup/returns (3.5%).

Also interesting about this survey is that those with higher incomes (above $75,000 annually) favored special promotions or coupons more often than those from lower income brackets.

So which is it? Price or convenience?

I imagine we could hold our own poll and come up with a third set of numbers. But it may pay off if online retailers can focus on a combination of both to maximize sales.