Are consumers using the Internet to research products with the intention of making a purchase online, or are they taking this new knowledge back to brick-and-mortar retail outlets to make the transaction? It seems the answer largely depends on the product.
The Nielsen Global Survey of e-commerce polled more than 30,000 internet respondents in 60 countries to examine online shopping and purchasing intentions of consumers worldwide.
In Ireland, half of respondents claimed to spend considerable time researching consumable products online prior to buying, with 62% favouring to read online reviews. While 54% claimed they could get the best price buying such products online.
When it comes to shopping for airline and event tickets and hotel or tour reservations the correlation between browsing and buying is high; those who browse online, generally buy online. For clothing and shoes the tendency to browse online is higher than purchase with 38% of Irish respondents planning to purchase online in the next six months compared to 45% in the UK.
However we are more likely to online browse for electronic equipment such as a TV, mobile phone or computer hardware than actually buy online.
So what are we comfortable buying online? Unsurprisingly airline tickets top the list with 61% of Irish respondents planning to purchase online in the next six months, significantly higher than the EU average of 34%. Other categories with strong online purchase intent include event tickets (51%), hardcopy books (31%) and sporting goods (24%).
However purchase intent and online browsing is lower with regards to consumable products. Online grocery (food & beverage) purchase intent in Ireland stands at 15% compared to 26% in the UK. And only 14% plan to buy personal care items online, with only slightly more browsing.
In the consumer goods arena there have been many retailer apps launched; some to highlight savings or offers and others to provide added value such as advice or news. According to this study 15% of Irish respondents use price saving apps when in store and a slightly higher 21% use price saving apps or websites when planning a shopping trip.
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of E-commerce was conducted between Feb. 17 and March 7, 2014, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6 percent. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behaviour of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.