How consumers shop online

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Ever wondered how consumer really behave when shopping online?
If you are running your own ecommerce website you can invest a great deal into web analytics. Analyzing visitors paths, conversion rates and visitor loyalty can provide interesting insights. Still it may be really hard to get definite information. Changing IP addresses, inexact origins due to electronice data processing centers and all the common inconveniences of web analytics make it hard for online retailers to analyze their customers behavior.

McAfee Secure now came up with a white paper that summarizes the results of the analysis of 163 million consumers who completed a total of 2.52 million transactions. The results are stunning. And they prove what we already know from real life shopping: We love to promenade through the inner city stores monitoring all the interesting products and comparing prices before we finally come to the obviously bet decision based on the information we have gathered. The same happens online. Consumers do not shop at once (except for spontaneous purchases). The average online shopper is in no hurry. Of course not, as stocks online usually last some time and there is barely any fear someone else might grab the last item available. The average online shopper of those 163 millions shoppers surveyed take their time – on average up to two days – between first visiting a website and finally purchasing a product.

What happens within those 33 hours and 54 minutes? Well, nothing extraordinary. Consumers compare prices elsewhere, read test results and consumer reviews, ask their peers about the product and gather recommendations from other users. An ever growing source of information are social networks and the entertaining social media presences of brands. They may lack elaborate information but they provide a good impression of a brand’s character and its fans. Some ecommerce websites even allow shopping together making use of social media technology. We call it social commere. Paul Marsden, an expert in this field defines social commerce as follows:

Selling with social media – the use of social media in the context of e-commerce (Source:

What are the implicatios of this analysis for online retailers?

Well in order to assure that shoppers really shop with you instead of finding another place to get the product of their desire, you might want to assure this: clarity / good usability, transparency in terms of costs, shipping and handling, warranty, product details and of course the reputation consumers have of you! You know, price is not everything. Simply treat your customers the way they expect it. And for your own sake, always keep an eye on costs. The best service in the world is useless if it costs you too much and eventually ruins your business. Then customers with a service issue will sadly have to find out that only some months after they bought your products your business went bankcrupt….

For a more detailed list of advice, please see a really good article on this here:

Aldi senkt weiter Preise und DM installiert Lupen, allerdings weniger wegen der kleinen Preise


Aldi dreht weiter an der Preisschraube. Wie bereits mehrfach in diesem Jahr, hat der Discountriese letzte Woche erneut seine Preise gesenkt. Betroffen waren diesmal Schokoriegel und „Champagner.“ Damit trägt Aldi weiter zu dem bereits bestehenden Preisverfall in Deutschland bei. Die Wettbewerber werden sicherlich mit eigenen Aktionen nachziehen um in der Gunst der preisbewussten Discountshopper nicht zu sinken.
DM, auch ein großer Retailer, geht ganz andere Wege. Die ohnehin schon sehr beliebten und sympathisch gestalteten Verkaufsflächen werden weiter attraktiviert: DM installiert auf seinen Einkaufswägen Lupen, damit auch ältere Kunden eine Chance haben die oft sehr klein gehaltenen Produktdetails zu lesen. DM kann durchaus als Vorreiter gesehen werden. Nur wenige Einzelhändler konnten in ähnlich kurzer Zeit sich derart erfolgreich in einem umkämpften Marktsegment behaupten. Und ich kaufe einfach gerne bei DM. Interessant: Die Sympathie für das Einkauferlebnis „DM“ übertrifft sogar meine Preissensitivität! Ich gehe mit derart viel Vertrauen und positiven Erfahrungen bei DM einkaufen, dass ich mich selbst dabei ertappe Preise nicht zu vergleichen und im Vertrauen auf die Marke und das Image DMs sicher keine „schlechten“ Preise zahlen zu müssen! Respekt, DM!