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Price and delivery are the two most important factors for digital customers: report

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Online shoppers look first for price and then for free delivery according to a new report. Most start their online shopping journey on Amazon.

The Future Shopper: 2018 and beyond report from digital consultancy Salmon and its parent company Wunderman Commerce, questioned more than 3,500 US and UK ecommerce shoppers, who had bought online at least once in the previous month, to find out how shoppers buy today, and may buy in the future.

It found that price, rated very important by 64% of shoppers across the two countries, and free delivery (54%) were the most important factors when shoppers decide to buy online, followed by brand (39%). When asked what features made for an “excellent online shopping experience”, 55% opted for free shipping and 50% for fast delivery. 

The Amazon effect

Just over a fifth (22%) said they expected their order to be delivered within 12 hours, while 43% expect 24-hour delivery. That rises to 59% among Amazon Prime members: only 5% think delivery within more than three days is acceptable, contrasted with 13% of all respondents.

In the UK, just over a third (35%) of online spending is through Amazon, while UK shoppers carried out 43% of their total spending online. In the US, Amazon takes just over half of online spending, and shoppers part with 49% of their total spending money online. But while 51% of all respondents start their online journey on Amazon – and 11% on eBay – 80% will check Amazon reviews and pricing even when they go on to buy from another site, or from a shop. That said, 55% of those who start on Amazon are likely to buy from Amazon too.

Beyond Amazon 

Shoppers can be tempted away from Amazon: 46% said they could find better prices elsewhere, while 25% said they found more convenient delivery options, 25% said others had more attractive loyalty programmes while 24% said they were looking for in-store experiences. 

The 51% that start their online journey on Amazon leaves 49% that do not. The study found that 11% start on eBay, 6% go straight to a brand website and 7% straight to a retailer website, while 3% start from a social media site.

Shoppers are also sticking  with the store for some categories of product: while 84% of people were happy to buy entertainment goods online, only 68% felt the same way about luxury goods. More than a third (34%) said they didn’t buy any groceries online, but of the 66% that do, 36% buy from a retailer, 19% from a marketplace and 11% from the brand’s site. That said, more than four in 10 millennials (87%) said they would be more likely to shop at a digitally innovative retailer.

Looking to the future

More than half of UK shoppers, the study found, feel they are already more advanced than some of the retailers they use (54% – and 76% in the US) and are looking forward to cashless stores (55% UK/79% US) such as Amazon Go, while just under half of UK shoppers are comfortable buying via a voice assistant (44%/ 71% US).

Commenting on the findings, Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Wunderman Commerce, said: “It can be tricky for brands to navigate the vast landscape of modern-day ecommerce. Knowing what channel best reaches certain customers and where those customers ultimately spend their money is a challenge. But it’s no longer enough for a brand to sell its product exclusively through one channel; having a balanced approach is now essential for many brands in today’s competitive market.”

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