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Why Do People Buy Online?

So here it is; the reasons that consumers buy online according to good old crazyegg:


We all know that comparison sites enable consumers to compare instantly. One of the reasons people cite most often for shopping online is that they can review and compare dozens of stores and products at once.

Saving time from the traditioonal store to store research, savvy online shoppers simply navigate from one web page to web page.

They search for reviews of your products, which I call social business media.  They compare price, quality and customer service — and they can do it all online. Having worked online for the last 10 years I am very aware that customer service is one of the only things that can set a comparison site apart from the others. It is the customer service that the consumer connects with.

Wider Selection

With the whole shelf space thing being a non-issue online, buyers turn to the Internet to find a wide selection.

For example, Amazon started out as a book seller but quickly expanded across many verticals to become a place where you can buy everything from aMacBook to powdered peanut butter. Very different to Blockbuster who kept selling VHS videos.

Better Prices

People trying to find the best price for the product.  This is particularly true when it comes to retial. Let’s not forget that most people need to feel the quality of what they are buying. This is one thing that I love about the Nespresso stores….the sole reason for their existence is that you visit them and get to play with the product.  Once you are happy you then order your product online and take delivery.

They visit a physical store, find the exact product they want and head to the web to find the best price.

Reviews From Other Shoppers

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of social proof online.   Online shoppers report that reading reviews is among the most important reasons they shop online.

In other words, if you want people to buy — you have to show that others have bought. I use Wiggle in the UK to buy cycling stuff. One thing that I love about the site is not just the fact that you can leave honest purchasing reviews on the sales experience and the product, but the best thing is that Wiggle will email you when one of their consumers has a quesiton about the product that you have bought. The social proof is in the response that you give.

Saving Time

The only resource that can rival money today is time.  As a result, “saving time” is often cited above “finding the lowest price” as a reason for shopping online.

People that are shopping online are knowingly trading immediate gratification (getting the product now) for time savings and the other benefits of online shopping.

You only have to look at the success of the Amazon Prime service offering to understand the importance that Amazon is placing on speed.

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