Study Shows Lack of Consumer Trust May Be Delaying Online Purchases

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

shutterstock_349392560A common problem that new businesses run into online is that often, an online ad campaign may generate a lot of traffic, but not lead to any sales. This can be particularly frustrating and confusing for business owners, who can’t understand why a good product is gaining a lot of attention but no sales. A recent study suggests that a lack of consumer confidence in a brand may be delaying people from buying or getting them to shop somewhere else.

New research by PushOn suggests that nearly one in four (24 percent) customers spend up to six months researching products before making a considered purchase. Some consumers take even longer than this to buy and others may go to a different store to buy the item. According to the study, the main reason cited for delaying a purchase is a lack of confidence in a brand or service.

“By asking customers for their own takes on showrooming and webrooming, and drilling down to the factors that inspire their decisions, we have uncovered a much more complex picture than might previously have been imagined,” PushOn explained in a blog post about the research. “We discovered that the price of the product plays a big part in people’s online/offline purchase choice. In general, the higher the price, the less likely they are to buy it online.”

The PushOn study also highlights the prevalence of ‘webrooming’, as nearly four out of five (79 percent) customers say they have gone in store to make a final purchase so they can see what an item looks like in reality. Meanwhile, 70 percent say they are happy to buy an expensive product online, but only after they have visited a store to see it in person.

According to PushOn, there’s a “correlation between income and likelihood of shopping in-store. Richer folk like that personal touch, whereas those lower down the socioeconomic scale are more concerned with the price.”

A key takeaway from all of this is the need for business owners and marketers to create websites and landing pages that can build consumer confidence as soon as they arrive to a site. There are a lot of ways to do this. For example, adding testimonials from customers or making the returns policy clear can make people feel more secure in making a purchase from a new retailer.

Similarly, setting the right price is always a concern for retailers, but it’s important to remember that the price people are willing to pay for a product online is different from the price they are willing to pay in store. Most consumers expect prices online to be cheaper than in-store prices. And according to the data from PushON, many consumers will not spend more than $1,500 for a product they find online. Most products don’t go that high, but it’s good to keep that limit in mind and to price items accordingly.

It’s important for online retailers to make the changes they need to to prevent webrooming or to make buying a product online more appealing. When digital ads end encouraging people to shop at a different, physical retailers, then the ads the online business was running ended up supporting their competitors, which is doubly bad for a businesses future. The report has a lot of good information that retailers should look at and it’s available to download for free.

For more information about recent online marketing news, read this article on Google’s plan to mark HTTP pages as unsecure.

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