Trust Is Key To Competing Beyond Price Online

Findings from an international survey into consumer shopping preferences shows that while consumers love nothing better than a bargain (61%), almost half of global shoppers (49%) surveyed consider the reliability of the retailer to be paramount when making purchase decisions online, highlighting the importance of trust.

Retailer trust was most valued in the east, where countries such as Indonesia (69%) and Thailand (65%) ranked reliability as the number one feature when shopping online. Meanwhile, in Europe, reliability came second only to price, with over two thirds of British shoppers citing price as an essential purchase driver.

Contrary to the popular belief that shipping and payment options are of high importance to consumers, research also revealed that less than a third (29%) of shoppers surveyed globally saw shipping options as a key factor in their purchase decision. This average falls to around a quarter (26%) in Europe.

Meanwhile, payment options were even less significant, accounting for just 20%of responses globally. Notably, this fell to just 6% for British shoppers and 9% for Americans. However, in mainland Europe payment accounted for two thirds more than in the UK.

Competition online is evolving, discerning shoppers will always look for a good deal, but as retailers we need to move away from a model of unsustainable cost cutting towards value creation.

This research shows that, while price is important shoppers are increasingly looking for more than that online, they want brands they can rely on, that deliver entertaining and secure shopping experiences. Retailers need to focus on creating a reliable shopping experience in order to build loyal consumers who are happy to come directly to them for their shopping needs.

After price and reliability, 40% of consumers considered choice to be the next most important feature in an online store. This was most critical for German shoppers, over half (57%) ranked it on a par with price (58%), a whopping 17% above the global average. In the UK 44% of shoppers consider choice the most important feature.

Overall, Japanese shoppers were most likely to value on-site rewards with over a quarter (29%) requesting this feature, however globally rewards on site accounted for just 11 per cent. This fell to just 5%in Brazil, 8%in the US but was 12% in the UK. Meanwhile, American shoppers were most interested in on-site reviews with 1 in 7 (14%) selecting this feature, compared to 4%of Spanish and 5% of Brazilian shoppers and a global average of 12%.

Adam Stewart is Marketing Director at Rakuten’s Play.com and sits on the Executive Leadership Committee. Since his appointment in March 2011, Adam has led the development of Play.com’s marketing function and implementation of a strategy to allow the business to develop and grow as part of the Rakuten Group. Prior to joining Play.com Adam worked for RBS for over five years. Adam grew up in Melbourne Australia and has been living in the UK since 2002. Adam holds a Business degree in Management and Marketing from Monash University in Melbourne. He has extensive digital marketing experience having started an online marketing agency, Alkemi, in Melbourne with his brother in 1997.