Online Consumers, Merchants Differ on Drivers of Repeat Business

April 26, 2012

worldpay-top-drivers-repeat-business-april2012.jpgIt seems that online merchants may not know their customers as well as they think, finds WorldPay [download page] in an April 2012 report. The survey asked more than 19,000 global online shoppers what it takes to bring them back to a site for a repeat purchase, and compared the responses to those from 153 senior decision-makers who had responsibility for the online payment process of their retail organizations. The most common priorities listed by the global online shoppers were the security of their personal or financial information (75%), payment security checks (66%), and guarantees and warranties provided for products or services (57%). By contrast, merchants listed the top drivers as the design and layout of their website (67%), the quality of the website navigation (62%), and the overall speed of the buying experience (62%).

Of note was the finding that cheapest prices (52%) and how well-known the brand or retailer is (39%) were not among the top priorities for customers.

Gap Seen in Spending Drivers, Too

Data from WorldPay’s “Global Online Shopper Report” indicates that a similar perception gap exists when it comes to the factors prompting customers to spend more on a website. The leading factors for consumers were better payment security (53%), better protection of personal details (49%), accurate delivery dates (43%), greater variety of payment methods (42%), and more customized offers (36%).

By contrast, merchants saw the top factors as a faster payment process (55%), more customized offers (37%), a more engaging shopping experience (36%), greater variety of payment methods (33%), and more personalization of the shopping experience (36%).

According to April 2012 survey findings from the e-tailing group, keyword search and sales/specials are the most valuable online merchant website features, indicated by 98% and 95% of respondents respectively to be valuable, somewhat valuable, or neutral.

Unexpected Costs Top Reason for Cart Abandonment

Meanwhile, the WorldPay report also examined the reasons why online shoppers leave without paying, finding that 56% of consumers cite unexpected costs, by far the top reason. There was then a large drop-off to other factors, such as them just browsing (37%), finding a better price elsewhere (36%), and the overall price being too expensive (32%).

Interestingly, although 36% of the merchants thought declined payments caused the drop-outs, just 11% of the shoppers cited this as a reason for abandoning their purchase.

Other Findings:

  • 23% of heavy spenders (those who spent 30% or more of their disposable income online in the past year) said they drop out of payment due to excessive security checks. This compares to 17% of medium shoppers (who spent between 10 and 30% of their disposable income online) and 13% of light shoppers (who spent less than 10% of their disposable income online).
  • The most common reason indicated by merchants for shopping cart abandonment was that the shopper was just browsing (45%). Merchants and consumers were roughly on par when it came to deciding against buying being a factor, at 27% and 26% of respondents, respectively.

About the Data: The WorldPay data is based on an online survey conducted in January and February 2012 of 19,000 global consumers who had shopped online within the past 6 months. The shoppers were drawn from: China (2,000); Germany (1,000); the US (2,000); Spain (1,000); Finland (1,000); France (1,000); Japan (1,000); Russia (1,000); Brazil (2,000); the UK (1,000); Mexico (1,000); Australia (1,000); Canada (1,000); Argentina (1,000); and India (2,000).

The online merchant respondents all came from organizations that turn over $8 million or more.

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