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Nearly one-third (30%) of online consumers say special sales and exclusive products would make them consider shopping on social networks, and 27% say viewing comments about items for sale would similarly encourage them, according to a survey from Volusion, conducted by Harris Interactive.

The survey found that consumers are increasingly looking to social networks for advice and recommendations about online purchases and are more likely to shop on websites that have secure checkout and are appealing and easy to use:

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Among the survey findings:

  • 48% of online consumers say easy-to-use features are a very important feature for initially attracting them to an online shopping website.
  • 92% of say brand is at least somewhat important to initially attracting them to an online shopping website.
  • 88% said that appealing web design is a factor in initially attracting them to a website.
  • 32% would shop online more if sites were easier to use.
  • 24% would shop online more if checkout procedures were easier.
  • 50% of said special online-online offers would encourage them to shop online more frequently.

“Since the birth of ecommerce ten years ago, consumers have come to expect an advanced level of online shopping experience,” said Kevin Sproles, CEO and founder of Volusion. “Beyond easy navigation and check out, consumers want online shopping to be integrated with the way they communicate with their peers, making their preferences and interests known on social networks and enabling retailers to develop a more intimate relationship with them.”

About the survey: This survey was conducted online within the US? between September 30 and October 6, 2008 among 2,682? adults age 18+ of whom, 2,462 are online shoppers. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the online US adult population on the basis of internet usage (hours per week) and connection type.

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