(BPT) – The holiday shopping season is in full swing, which means malls are sparkling with lights and decorations, enticing shoppers to purchase loads of gifts for friends and loved ones (and a few trinkets for themselves). At least that’s what retailers hope for.
It should be no surprise that more of today’s consumers are increasingly jumping online to do holiday shopping from the comforts of home, particularly during the holiday rush. In fact, 60 percent of consumers will do more of their shopping online this year than last year, with 35 percent indicating they will complete 75 percent of all their shopping online. Those figures are according to a recent survey of 750 U.S. consumers conducted by Talend, a data integration company.
That means e-tailers need to know who’s shopping online and for what. E-tailers also want to know how often online shoppers complete their purchases, rather than abandoning their carts all together. Talend’s survey also sheds some light on some of these pressing concerns.
Women are still from Venus, men are still from Mars
If John Gray updated his 1993 book today, he might add a chapter about online shopping. Women tend to shop online for “softer” items like fashion (59 percent) and home goods/furniture (40 percent), while men head straight for the hard goods: technology (58 percent) and music, film, TV and gaming (45 percent).
Men are much more likely to procrastinate
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but more than 30 percent of men surveyed wait until mid-December to start their holiday shopping, and 12 percent say they’ll start scrambling the week before Christmas. In contrast, more than a third of women start filling their carts, closets and attics with gifts by Halloween, with only 18 percent leaving their shopping until December.
Why some shoppers log off with empty carts
Despite the many advances in online shopping, 85 percent of shoppers surveyed say they’ve abandoned a cart mid-purchase mainly for the following reasons: shipping costs (60 percent), the high cost of goods at time of check-out (25 percent), and long wait times to process orders (17 percent). Clearly, there are still a few disconnects between what consumers are looking for in their online shopping experience and what e-tailers are providing.
Once customers lose interest, can retailers reel them back in?
Surprisingly, yes. A vast majority of consumers (60 percent) indicated they would be swayed by real-time promotions delivered while they were still on the site. Specifically, free delivery was noted by almost 35 percent of respondents as the top driver for completing their purchase, while a discount on the merchandise in their cart was indicated by another 26 percent as a motivating factor. If you’re a consumer and you’re not satisfied, see if the vendor’s savvy enough to make it worth your while with real-time incentives.
We all know online shopping is here to stay. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner — as more people shift from bricks to clicks — consumers will demand better service and more responsiveness from e-tailers. While the process has come a long way in terms of creating a better overall customer experience, surveys show there are still areas for improvement .