If there's one effect online shopping has had on the general consumer experience, it's that the average shopper now spends much more time researching the products they want to buy before pulling the trigger. However, a new study suggests that this may all come down to a single factor in the end.
According to BigCommerce's 2016 State of Omnichannel Retail study, the price of a product is the most influential factor when shoppers are determining whether or not they should head to checkout. Of the shoppers surveyed, 87 percent indicated that the numbers after the dollar sign were either "very" or "extremely" influential in the decision to shop and buy. Close behind price in terms of buying influence was the cost of shipping and speed options offered (80 percent), with discount offers (71 percent) rounding out the three most influential online shopping forces.
"Retailers tend to think that the lion’s share of value comes from the products they sell," Mike Wittenstein, founder and managing partner at Storyminers, said in a blog post accompanying the study's results. "Retail customers disagree. They want a fair price for the ‘thing’ they get, AND they want convenience, service, reasonable policies, ease of use, friendly service, timely deliveries and a myriad of other elements of the experience that represent value for them. The bottom line is most customers make purchase decisions based on the overall experience, not only on the cost/quality dimension."
So, if price, shipping options and discounts drove the most sales, which common online shopping factors could be dropped without little effect? As it turns out, advertisements and social media mentions — sorry, "influencers" — came out as the losers of the set, with just 21 percent and 23 percent, respectively, of customers indicating that they paid them any attention at all.