Online shopping has made consumers’ lives easier in so many ways. But it has also increased expectations. Today’s savvy consumers expect to find exactly what they’re looking for, want the product to ship immediately and believe all this service should be available at a reasonable price. And how do they 1185031_pile_of_moneyknow they’re getting a reasonable price? Until now, consumers have been using comparison shopping sites to be sure they’re not paying too much. But that strategy may be about to change. According to a new survey by e-tailing group, “Comparison Shopping is a Way of Life”, more marketers are using their Web sites to show how their price compares to the competition.

This strategy is winning consumer loyalty and ensuring return visits to Web sites. The survey revealed the following consumer attitudes about retailers who display competitor prices:

  • Likely to return to a retailer who displays competitor prices: 78%
  • Feel an increased sense of loyalty to retailers who provide competitor prices: 36%
  • No longer feel that it’s necessary to comparison shop for the item: 53%
  • Believe that the displayed competitor pricing data is correct:  52%

The e-tailing group survey indicates that consumers often spend up to half an hour using a variety of tools to research products before they make the purchase. Analysts believe that retailers who begin offering this information on their Web sites will win consumer loyalty early, especially since they’re making the shopping process easier, and may be able to continue the positive relationship with the consumer far into the future.

[Source: Hauss, Debbie. Research Shows Providing Price Comparisons Wins Shopper Loyalty, Retail Touchpoints. September 2009]