On a + note

Hurray for the online shopper… #36: 2012

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on October 15, 2012

The internet has transformed our lives, but none more than how we shop for goods and services. The Nielsen Company has conducted a series of surveys  over the last 5 years polling over 40,000 internet users in over 50 countries to explore how, what and why we shop online. This is what they discovered…

The top purchases online:
● Books and entertainment represent over 44% of all online purchases
● Clothing / accessories and yes, shoes represent 36% of online purchases
● Airline tickets and hotel reservations represent 32% of online purchases
● Music purchases represent 22% of all online purchases

Who’s shopping?
● 42% are men…I was surprised
● 37% are female

►How do they pay?
84% of shoppers pay directly using a credit card

►Why do we buy these products online?
● Over 70% of shoppers cited convenience, speed of delivery and selection as the number one reasons for shopping online
● 57% of respondents consider peer and professional reviews (think Consumer’s Reports, Google, Bing or Yahoo here) prior to buying …particularly for cars, software, electronics and home appliances.

►Nationally who are the big online shoppers?
● China and Korea are #1 and favour purchasing books, cosmetics clothing and groceries online
● Online shopping is at its lowest in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong who favour purchasing event and game tickets online but very few products

Retailers have embraced the online shopping craze and added significant value to the digital shopping experience. For example:

●L.L. Bean‘s free shipping on all items…a huge deal

●Sears offers local in-store pickups within 3 working days

●Farm Stores offer customers online grocery shopping and a drive through pick up option!  How cool would that be for libraries?!!

Customers in return have embraced the online shopping experience.  But also they expect more personalized, knowledgeable service from the in-store experience. It has become easier to compare prices and consumers are well informed before entering the store. The 2012 consumer is challenging the in-store staff more than ever to provide added value to the shopping experience.

So what do online shopping trends have to do with libraries?

We know traditionally,  shopping patterns influence library usage, but in the last 5 years more and more of our customers have already done some preliminary research before they show up at the information desk. The 2012 library customer is pushing libraryland more than ever, to step it up and deliver superior customer focused service, that is convenient and valuable.

Hurray for the online shoppers!!!

Kitty Pope                                                                               #36 October 2012 kpope@library.guelph.on.ca


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