Shopping Down, But Online Research Up
Econsultancy has the results of a survey by Channel Advisor (PDF) on online shopping in the US. The semi-annual survey shows that online shopping is down overall—but there is some good news for the Internet.
Spending online shopping is down overall, with fewer people reporting monthly purchases of over $76 (down by 9% to 25%), and more people reporting monthly spending of $0-$20 (up by 11%, now at 27%). However, they’re devoting more of their time online to product research—with growth in shopping search queries and time spent on retail sites. 51% were influenced by product reviews or ratings, but free shipping was most influential in purchase decisions.
Unfortunately, that increased product research time isn’t necessarily making for savvier consumers. Nearly one in four respondents believed that they’d purchased something from a general search engine (17%) or a shopping comparison engine (7%). As Channel Advisor points out, this makes it even more important to ensure that you’re reaching consumers through as many channels as possible—especially search engines.
Google was the #1 choice as a generic search engine starting point for shopping, with 81%—absolutely whomping second place Yahoo (11%). However, in comparison engines, Yahoo Shopping was the top choice, with 21%. Google Product Search (10%) fell behind ShopZilla/BizRate (18%) and Shopping.com (12%). However, Channel Advisor customers saw significantly more sales on Google Product Search than Yahoo Shopping:
Also interesting: 19% said they’d used Bing Cashback.
What do you think? Have you been more careful about your online spending lately—with more product research but less spending? What’s most influential in your purchase decisions?