E-commerce Survey – Instore or Online Shopping?

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Following on from our other research into users buying behaviour online we decided to compare online v’s offline buying.

Our interest was sparked as to how many of our participants had looked online then bought instore versus looking instore and buying online. Also, why did they not follow on with the purchase online?

Our question related to user experiences over the last 12 months. So, we found that in 2008:

  • 77% of participants had looked instore then bought online
  • 53% of participants had looked online then bought instore

We were curious about the 53% that had looked at an online shop then bought instore. Was something wrong with the cart or the buying process or was it something else?

Reasons for not buying online

The reasons our participants gave for purchasing instore rather than online included:

  • Wanting to see the product in person
  • Needing the item quickly
  • Too high shipping charge
  • Product was no cheaper online (so no incentive to wait for delivery)
  • Clothing size worries
  • Requiring advice

In terms of seeing the product in person and clothing size worries, it could be possible that with a little more information regarding cooling off periods, users worries would be abated slightly. Knowing they could return something if it wasn’t right could encourage online purchasing (assuming time was less of a concern).

Value of online purchase

It’s possible that the reason of ‘Wanting to see the product in person’ could be combined with the value users were happy to spend online in one purchase. I would guess that with a product under £100 it would be less necessary to see in person than say something over £500. For example, if I were spending £1000 on a holiday I would want to know it was a well known company and would potentially only buy online if I had already been in to see the company first (and buying online offered a financial incentive).

The graph below show the different max. values our participants were prepared to pay online:

e-commerce values

Heres an example of a Glasgow online shop

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