Online Shoppers Have List of Wants for Holiday Shopping

A new eHoliday study reveals what is most important to consumers when considering online shopping for the holidays.  The eHoliday 2012 study ranks items on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 5 (very important). 

THE ABILITY TO SEE THE SHOPPING CART TOTAL PRIOR TO CHECKOUT (4.5)  Consumers want to know what the complete total is before checkout, including shipping charges and sales tax (even an estimate of these "extras" is better than omitting them altogether.)

GUARANTEED ON-​TIME DELIVERY (4.5)  Also in the category of “no surprises”, consumers want to know that their purchases will arrive by their big gift giving deadline.  Given supply chain disruptions following recent storms, customers this year will be particularly attuned to potential out of stock and delivery issues.

To start, retailers need to make clear on the product detail page any backorder or out of stock issues – that information simply can’t wait until the cart summary page.  Clear shipping deadlines calendars – preferably easily accessible from the home page and other key pages such as the product detail page – will alleviate confusion and concern.

VALUE FOR MONEY/​GOOD DEALS (4.4)  Consumers understandably want to know that they're getting the best deal – they’re spending a net average of $900, so stretching those precious dollars is key.  Many retailers this year are actively jumping on the price matching and product exclusivity bandwagons to curb consumers’ inclination to buy solely on price – while Amazon has already launched the “Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week” and “Holiday Toy List – Daily Lightning Deals” sections on the home page.  Retailers who cannot offer price matching or exclusivity should focus on the great value of the product not solely based on price, but also quality, durability, taste or style, sourcing, and other aspects that differentiate their products  Consumers also care about after-​purchase care, warranties or guarantees, installation help, and free returns shipping.

CLEAR PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS (4.4)  Conventional wisdom generally advocates striking a balance between “short and to the point” and “more detail,” so retailers need to determine what is right for their product and customer.

[Source:  "eHoliday Study 2012."  Shop​.org/​B​I​G​i​n​s​i​ght.  6 Nov. 2012.  Web.  9 Nov. 2012.]