Consumers relied on various marketing channels to influence their holiday purchases, but the vast majority based their final decisions on factors such as price, including promotional offers (85%), free shipping (85%), and merchant reputation (78%), finds Baynote in a new study. Product reviews (71%), which are consistently being highlighted for their influence, also rated highly in this regard, as did a retailer’s return policy (65%). Studies from Wanderful Media and ShopRunner have revealed that return policies can prove a thorny issue for online shoppers, so it’s not too surprising to see that factor featured among the leading decision influencers. While significant to some, the ability to receive rewards/loyalty points (47%), free shipping with a threshold (45%), and product availability (35%) were less important in shoppers’ final decisions.
Shoppers Mixed Traditional and Online Research Methods
The Baynote study also shows that online shoppers used a variety of methods to check prices and availability during the holidays. Most commonly, they went to Amazon to check prices and see if the product was available (66%), but many also checked prices at the stores where they usually make purchases (55%). Other popular methods included going to a store or a site known to carry the item and buying it there (49%), using a search engine to see where to buy an item (49%), checking for product availability at local stores (48%), and going to a big-box store that might have the product (45%).
About the Data: Baynote’s 3rd Annual Holiday Online Shopping Survey, conducted in partnership with the e-tailing group, surveyed 1,000 US online holiday shoppers between Nov. 24 and Dec. 5 in order to gain insight into consumer behavior and key buying influencers across various retail channels, including physical stores, e-commerce websites, social networks, tablets and mobile devices.