What Shoppers Do and Don't Do Online

By Chris Crum

February 11, 2016

Nielsen recently released some findings from its Global Connected Commerce survey looking at what connected shoppers are doing (and not doing) online. One big takeaway is that shoppers are not only "showrooming" (browsing in stores to buy online), but are also "webrooming" (researching online and buying in stores).

As Nielsen says, online shopping is a "two-way street".

"Conducting online research is not the only activity that is complementing the shopping experience," the firm says. "Three online activities score consistently high, regardless of the product category being considered. They are what you likely expect: Looking up product information, checking/comparing prices and searching for deals/promotions/coupons. In the travel products or services category, for example, 63% of respondents who shopped or purchased the category in the past six months say they looked up product information, 52% checked or compared prices and 46% searched for deals or coupons. For consumable—particularly edible—products, percentages are notably lower than for durable goods, but the same online activities remain top strategies. For fresh groceries, 38% say they looked up information, 39% checked/compared prices and 30% searched for deals."

"Perhaps more telling is what consumers are not doing online," Nielsen adds. "Across all categories reviewed, the online shopping activities with the lowest mentions include those that marketers often rely upon heavily to reach consumers—usage of online ads, store emails and social media. Only about one-10th of respondents say they've clicked an online ad or email ad to find out more in the last six months. Even fewer say they have subscribed to product or store emails or liked/tweeted/commented about a product or store on social media."

According to the findings, 57% say they purchased fro an online retailer outside their own country in the past six months. The most common payment method is credit card (53%) followed by digital payment systems (43%). 49% say they shop online for grocery products they can't find in physical stores.

Somewhat troubling is that the majority 57% say they have doubts that ecommerce sites will keep their personal info safe.

You can find Nielsen's full report here.

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