Econsultancy: How We Shop 2010 USA

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  • Market Data / Supplier Selection / Event Presentations / User Experience Benchmarking / Best Practice / Template Files / Trends & InnovationHow We Shop in 2010Habits and motivations of US consumers
  • How We Shopin 2010Habits and motivations of USconsumersPublished May 2010 EconsultancyNew York Econsultancy London 41 East 11th St., 11th Floor 2nd Floor, 85 Clerkenwell Road New York, NY 10003 London EC1R 5ARAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be United States United Kingdomreproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording Telephone: Telephone:or any information storage and retrieval system, without +1 212 699 3626 +44 (0) 20 7681 4052prior permission in writing from the publisher. http://econsultancy.comCopyright Econsultancy.com Ltd 2010 help@econsultancy.com
  • Contents 1. Executive summary and highlights ................................. 1 1.1. About Econsultancy .................................................................... 4 2. Methodology and sample................................................. 5 3. Communicating and selling to the social consumer ....... 7 3.1. Preferred channels for communication and marketing ............. 7 3.2. Email Programs .......................................................................... 21 3.3. Importance of emailed coupons ............................................... 30 3.4. E-commerce Websites ............................................................... 32 3.5. E-commerce site features impact on likelihood to purchase ... 33 3.5.1. Product ratings....................................................................... 33 3.5.2. Online chat ............................................................................. 36 3.5.3. Consumer-generated reviews ................................................ 39 3.5.4. Free shipping ......................................................................... 42 3.5.5. Payment options .................................................................... 45 3.5.6. Price guarantees .....................................................................48 3.6. E-commerce site issues .............................................................. 51 3.7. Social profile sites .......................................................................61 3.8. Twitter ........................................................................................ 71 3.9. Consumers accuracy when providing personal information ... 74 4. Factors in product research ........................................... 75 4.1. Email-driven purchasing .......................................................... 76 4.2. Media used for product research .............................................. 78 4.3. Priorities in the product research process ................................ 80 4.4. Impact of consumer reviews on additional purchases ............. 87 5. Motivations, attitudes and lifestyle factors ................... 89 5.1. Mobile sophistication ................................................................ 89 5.2. User-generated comments and reviews ................................... 94 5.3. Impact of corporate responsibility factors ............................... 96 5.4. Economic outlook .................................................................... 106 How We Shop in 2010 Habits and motivations of US consumers All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright Econsultancy.com Ltd 2010
  • 1. Executive summary and highlights The Internet has taken on three major roles in consumer culture: research, direct sales, and customer service. It might be argued that direct selling will ultimately be the least important of the three. Online product research contributes to a far larger percentage of total retail than the 8% directly attributed to e-commerce while the digital interaction and service is changing the fundamental relationship between producers and consumers. Winners in the equation will be those who use digital communications to best enable and influence offline purchases. This report, How We Shop in 2010, is based on the findings of a survey of over 1,400 nationally representative U.S. consumers. The study focuses on how people prefer to interact with e-commerce brands, how they conduct product research, and contributing factors to their decisions, all through the lenses of age and demographic type. Channels Although a variety of media are competing for consumer attention, email continues to be the desired channel for many types of commercial communication. For example, only respondents over 55 years of age prefer postal mail for the delivery of information about sales and specials. Even in that age range, opinions are changing. Frequency is in the eye of the beholder. The perception of, and reaction to, email frequency has a strong relationship with age. But, that generational sensitivity doesnt apply to email in general, but is focused on specific emailers. Inbox overload is the least cited reason for dissatisfaction with email programs, while inability to provide relevance receives the highest score. The problem for emailers is their email programs, not spam or displacement of email by social networking. Consumers report a willingness to opt-in, but they have a reasonable expectation of being treated well. At the very least that means sending a minimum of emails, protecting privacy, and emphasizing products that people may find interesting. Beyond that, special pricing for house list members and first-look offers help increase opt-in rates at the front end, and loyalty in the long term. Social networking and its effect on the nature of brand is the hottest topic in digital marketing, and deservedly so. Its still worthwhile for marketers to remember that social network adoption is far from maturity, and that people over 38 are significantly less likely to use social networks to pursue product information, seek recommendations, etc., than younger people. Thats changing, but will take time. Its our tendency to see things in an either/or light, and thats led to renewed questions about the long-term viability of email in the face of increased social media adoption. Based on the respondents to this survey, the role of email in this evolving ecosystem is secure. As Econsultancys Chris Lake referred to it, email is social media glue the mechanism for a variety of different types of communication related to social activities. The impact of search on the consumer experience continues to grow. People identify search as their primary source of information for almost all types of purchase. As localized search improves, the line between online and offline shopping gets increasingly blurred. For marketers, understanding the nature of personalized and universal search will be essential. The days of being in the top three results are over for many terms and brands because top results are unique to niche groups and individuals. How We Shop in 2010 Habits and motivations of US consumers Page 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright Econsultancy.com Ltd 2010
  • Product Research & E-Commerce SitesThe trend in which consumers have come to rely on, create, and disseminate product reviews may beas important as the ability to buy online itself. For while e-commerce represents approximately 8% ofretail, user-generated comments are a significant factor in a large percentage of the offline purchasesthat make up the other 92%.55% of all respondents report having a high product rating makes them more likely to buy, and theinverse is also true. Similarly, 56% report the presence of consumer-generated reviews increases theirlikelihood of using a particular online store. This preference is more pronounced among younger anddigitally sophisticated users, suggesting