Extensive global survey with good NA-to-Global benchmarking, and some Canada-specific numbers.
- Survey Release Date: August, 2014
- Survey Conducted By: The Nielson Company
- Objective: To reveal the most popular consumer product categories for buying versus browsing (researching), and in what product categories “purchase propensity” is leading and lagging.
Key Insights on the behaviour of eCommerce Consumers:
The survey found that the generational differences for buying versus browsing (researching) online was unexpectedly (for us) extreme. Although Millennials were found to be the most “active” consumers online by a substantial margin, I would caution that these group of consumers generally does not have the disposable income and purchasing power of Generation X and Baby Boomer consumers. For many organizations, Generation X and Baby Boomer consumers may have greater potential to impact your top and bottom line.
Because of the massive scope of this survey, Neilson’s findings on which devices are most frequently used for online shopping are also “share-worthy”. As shown, the impact of mobile is massive globally, but still limited in North America. In the US and Canada, the computer (desktop/ laptop) is still dominant for actual online shopping and transactions. Note that the use of mobile is much more dominant in other developing markets (Asia-Pacific, Middle East/Africa, Latin America) because mobile has leapfrogged traditional computer devices on these areas, and mobile is often the only personal device capable for online shopping.
We are currently trying to get hold of more Canada-specific numbers from Neilson, but in the meantime you’ll find some of these details via StrategyOnline:
- 61% of Canadian consumers prefer to do online research prior to visiting a store for the actual purchase (aka ROPO – Research Online/ Purchase Offline). See our post on the significance of ROPO to your online business model. This is inline with the global average of 60%.
- Apparently 58% of Canadian say that they do not shop online because of the high Canadian shipping costs, versus only 38% globally. True enough, Canadian shipping costs are high, but before you slash your shipping costs (or give away free) to improve your competitive positioning, remember that competing on price & delivery is a loser’s game for most Canadian companies. Instead, develop an online business model that differentiates your business on sustainable “value-added”.
Neilson’s grouping of online shoppers into 4 persona groups — Shopaholics, Researchers, Savers, and Skeptics — is interesting but superficial. This grouping reinforces the common misconception that to successfully compete online you have to focus on “price & delivery”. In fact, unless your company has the buying-power and scale of Amazon or Walmart, competing on price & delivery is a losing proposition. Instead, for 99% of online businesses, the focus has to be on building a online business model that differentiates on “value-added”.
- The survey was conducted between Feb. 17 and March 7, 2014, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries globally.