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Price, reliability and choice top consumers’ online priorities: study

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Price, the retailer’s reliability, and choice are now the most important factors that shoppers around the world consider before they buy, according to a new survey.

These are factors, found online marketplace Rakuten’s research, that have left behind issues such as payment and delivery options, long-perceived by retailers to be key issues for consumers.

The study questioned online shoppers in 12 countries and found that overall, 61% of global shoppers said price was the most important issue for them when shopping over the internet. Some 49% said the retailer’s reliability was paramount, and 40% said choice was the next most important feature.

But the details varied from market to market. In the UK, more than two-thirds of shoppers cited price as an important factor, while 44% of shoppers said that choice was the most critical feature in an online store. In Germany, 58% cited price, while 57% named choice. In Japan, 29% of shoppers valued on-site rewards.

Delivery options were named by less than a third of shoppers worldwide, at 29%. Across Europe they were important for 26% of respondents. And while 20% of global responses concerned payment options, only 6% of British shopper flagged up this area, while 9% of Americans did so.

“Competition online is evolving,” said Adam Stewart, marketing director at Rakuten-owned . “Discerning shoppers will always look for a good deal but as retailers we need to move away from a model of unsustainable cost cutting towards value creation.

“This research shows that, while price is important, shoppers are increasingly looking for more than that online. They want brands they can rely on, that deliver entertaining and secure shopping experiences. Retailers need to focus on creating a reliable shopping experience in order to build loyal consumers who are happy to come directly to them for their shopping needs.”

Other findings included the importance of on-site reviews for US shoppers, where they were named by 14%. That compares to 4% for Spanish shoppers and 5% for Brazilian consumers, and 12% globally.

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