Consumers’ top reasons for shopping online

by | Jun 6, 2017 | Public Relations

More than 60 percent of respondents in a recent poll by the Performance Marketing Association (PMA) said having products “shipped directly to my door” was the top reason they prefer to shop online.

The organization recently released results of its online shopping survey, asking over 750 people across the U.S. to share the most important reasons that they shop online vs. shopping at a physical store. Respondents from 48 states gave their three top reasons for shopping online, and the top answers were: “Shipped Directly to My Door” (61.26 percent); “Saves Time” (50.13 percent); and “Large Selection/Variety of Merchandise” (44.63 percent).

“Although we suspected that time and convenience would be among the main factors for most online shopping, it was interesting to see what beat them out when consumers were asked to choose only one,” said PMA executive director Tricia Meyer, in a news release. “When asked to narrow it down, 21.47 percent of respondents said that a larger selection or variety was the single most important reason that they shop online.”

Shipping directly to their door and saving time each came in around 19 percent. Noticeably low across the board were “No Sales Tax” and “Privacy of Purchase.” Each was given as the most important reason by less than 1 percent of the respondents.

Over the last 6 years, the PMA has actively fought alongside affiliates in over 10 states as those state legislatures argued, passed and sometimes killed a variety of proposed tax bills that create a nexus for online retailers through affiliate partners who resided in those states. In many of the cases, the legislators and a few organizations supporting brick and mortar businesses argued that local businesses were losing business to online retailers because consumers wanted to avoid paying sales tax.

“The argument that local businesses are unable to compete because they have to pay sales tax and online retailers don’t is easily disproven with these results,” says the organization’s board of directors president, Rachel Honoway, in the release. “Not only was the reason ‘No Sales Tax’ chosen by less than 1% of respondents, but the reason ‘Better Prices’ was the single most important reason for just over 11% of respondents. Local businesses should take note: price isn’t the determining factor for consumers these days. They want convenience and selection.”

More information about the survey and results can be found on the PMA site. Members of the Performance Marketing Association have access to expanded insights and analysis.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter