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The top influences on online purchasing

Companies’ digital marketing efforts play an important role in influencing customer behaviour and their purchase intention. Let's explore.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Understanding the influences of online purchasing

Companies need to understand what influences they can control and offer to the customers. Although there are still many people who are reluctant to shop online, this is not just about figuring out how to influence them to do so.

It’s about understanding the drivers and barriers to online shopping in order to improve the online conversion rate and maximise the performance of a company’s digital effort.

Think about how a company can offer the best or most suitable service and products online to customers, for example, while they are seeking products and struggling to make purchase decisions.

The reasons why customers prefer to shop online

It is important to understand the reasons why customers prefer to shop online to ensure companies can attract them based on these reasons and offer them the benefits they are seeking. It is also important to understand why customers prefer to shop in-store.

The charts below from the Global Online Consumer Report (2017) show the reasons why people shop online instead of in-store, and vice versa.

Online reasons: 58% of people said that the ability to shop 24/7 is the reason why they shop online. 54% cite the ability to compare prices. 46% cite online sales/better prices. 40% cite the time it saves. 39% cite the convenience of not going to the shop. 29% cite the greater variety or selection of products available. 29% cite free shipping offers. 37% cite the convenience of having everything in one place. 20% cite the ability to locate hard to find items. 15% cite the ability to avoid crowds. 15% cite access to products not sold in their city or country. And 11% cite being able to avoid checkout lines. These reasons can be categorised into convenience; price-related; push from offline; ease of selection; free shipping, and only option to buy. Expand this chart

Offline reasons: 56% of people said that being able to see or touch the item first is the reason why they shop in stores. 55% cited wanting to try the item on. 41% cited that products look different in person. 34% felt that delivery takes too long. 24% felt that certain product are too valuable to buy online. 23% enjoy the experience of going to the shops. 16% cite having to go to the shop for another reason. 15% cite wanting to verify authenticity. 14% cited that the online return process is too complicated. 13% cite not trusting online security. And 11% cite wanting to talk to a salesperson. These reasons can be categorised into touch/try the product; shipping; enjoy the experience, and other. Expand this chart


KPMG International Cooperative. (2017). The truth about online consumers 2017 Global Online Consumer Report. (pp.29-31). Web link

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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