I find this statistic stunning: for major purchases, 80% of buyers do online research about a product. BUT 87% – THE VAST MAJORITY – STILL BUY IN-STORE. Do you people not have small children? Who has the time to buy in store? Are you not comfortable using your credit card online? Help me understand why you shop the old fashioned way.
For purchases of $500 or more, here’s how people behave – weird!
This stat and others come from a new spending survey from Synchrony Financial.
- Shoppers spend an average of 68 days researching a product before making a purchase (down from 80 in 2014).
- Online purchasing of larger ticket items remains stable at 13% year-over-year, with the exception of consumer electronics.
- The in-store experience matters more than ever, with 73% of shoppers conducting research during their visit and 87% of respondents purchasing in person.
- 64% of all shoppers surveyed said in-store visits had a greater influence on their purchasing decision than online research.
- 75% of Synchrony cardholders surveyed say they “always” seek promotional financing when making a purchase, and 89% indicating promotional financing makes larger purchases more affordable. **Keep in mind this is for purchases of $500 or more, so that extra 10% or 20% off is a nice chunk of change.**
Is online shopping really that bad?
Yes, if you believe this survey and I do. I shop as much as possible online, but for clothing, electronics, furniture, linens, you really need more information that most sites typically list. I find online product listings often omit the product dimensions, weight, and materials. Does it fit? What does it feel like? Sites often bury the return policy, while in store you can flag someone down.
Figuring out whether a piece of clothing fits you is so difficult while shopping online that we had to create this tip sheet for getting the right fit online. And we shop online enough to have learned these 16 secrets to saving money at Amazon.com. We’ve also tried online co-cops to save a bundle online on everything from kitchenware to kids clothing.
But not all is lost. There are some brands that make online shopping an amazing experience. Here are our faves.
3 brands that make online shopping better than in store shopping
1. Warby Parker
Try on up to five pairs of glasses or sunglasses for free via their Home Try On program. You can keep them for a few days, figuring out which pair you like far away from the stares of hungry sales people in a typical optical shop. Plus, for every pair you buy, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
Who wants to compare the unit cost on soap every week? And who wants to schlep rolls of toilet paper, jugs of Tide, and caverns of shampoo home every week? Amazon Subscribe & Save makes it easy to shop and move onto the fun stuff.
Sort by color, price, shop location, handmade or vintage. Etsy is one-stop shopping for anything artsy, unique, and minor stream. It’s the antithesis of big box shopping. It’s easy to ask the seller a question, estimate shipping, and know that your product is truly unique.
Read the rest of the Synchrony Financial survey and findings here.