When People Talk About Convenience in Online Shopping, What Do They Mean?

March 21, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Customer-Centric | Industries | Retail & E-Commerce | Spending Trends

Research has found more than 8 in 10 shoppers saying that convenience while shopping is more important than it used to be. In fact, convenience continues to be a top reason for shopping online versus in-store, according to a report [download page] from Morning Consult. But what exactly does convenience online refer to?

Among shoppers who said they shop online because it’s convenient, a leading 81% reported that ordering for home delivery is a necessary attribute for online shopping convenience. This has previously been seen to be a top motivator for shopping online.

To meet customers’ expectations for convenience, retailers should also be mindful of other areas most consider to be necessary attributes, including free shipping (76%), in-stock products (71%), package tracking (68%), fast shipping (66%) and free returns (63%).

Notably, 62% of people who shop online because it’s convenient say that website filtering and search tools are necessary for online shopping convenience. This is interesting in light of a recent study which found deficiencies in retailers’ site search offerings: 76% of e-commerce professionals surveyed admitted not having error tolerance in their site search, 66% don’t have personalized results, and 65% don’t offer alternatives when searches return zero results.

Meanwhile, few people who shop online due to convenience feel that flexible payment options (26%) and personalized recommendations (33%) are necessary attributes for convenience.

Separately, the Morning Consult study finds that online is preferred over in-store shopping for aspects such as time saving, product selection, and money saving. By contrast, in-store shopping is preferred over online for enjoyment, product details, and customer service.

Across various categories including Apparel, Shoes & Accessories, Personal Electronics, and Beauty & Personal Care Products, more people said they prefer to shop in-store than online. This is supported by previous Morning Consult research in which adults across generations and household income levels reported a preference for in-store over online shopping.

For more, download Morning Consult’s latest report here.

About the Data: The results are drawn from “monthly surveys conducted from October 2021 to January 2023 among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults per month.”


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