Based on feedback we received at our Catalyst conferences where we have an online consumer panel that retailers love, we started doing a bi-annual survey of consumer online buying behavior. The 2H09 version is out now. This information is something I think every online retailer, regardless of size should read and understand as you make your Q4 plans. You can download the white paper here.
Here are some highlights of what consumers told us in the survey:
- Consumers are spending about the same amount of time online but are spending less money – scouring the Web for deals that yield higher savings and offer extra value above and beyond low prices.
- Shoppers don’t necessarily realize where they purchase and may not understand how Google Product Search and other comparison shopping engines function.
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) are top-of-mind retail brands, but Amazon commands twice the mindshare of eBay.
- Free shipping and peer ratings/reviews hold more influence over purchasing decisions than they did in 2008.
- 70 percent of consumers said they regularly purchase from eBay or Amazon.
- 81 percent of consumers begin their product searches with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and 11 percent begin with Yahoo (YHOO) – which is an increase of five percentage points in favor of Google, and a six percent decrease in Yahoo usage.
- Bing is making a quick impact since it launched on May 28, accounting for two percent of searches and 13 percent of respondents already having used Bing Cashback – a share that will grow in light of the recent Yahoo/Microsoft search deal.
- Shoppers are diversifying the comparison shopping engines they use to research products, prices and deals. We discovered some useful trends by comparing consumer behavioral data to actual internal sales data from thousands of online retailers that make up the ChannelAdvisor customer base.
The white paper goes into tons of details on these items, and they are strategic tidbits to plan your Q4 marketing plan. Is Bing in your mix? Have you diversified your CSEs? Which search engines are you spending time on and does it match the consumer-side?
We hope this enables you to align your resources and plans to have a successful Q4!
Disclosure: I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor