Common Online Shopping Myths Debunked
In an online retail world where millions of stores compete for consumers’ business daily, a lot of online shopping myths have taken center stage in recent years. Some are fomented by internet gossiping, often fed and shared by social media. Others are created out of word-of-mouth and all are misinformation. We’ll aim to clear the air here as we present to you the most common online shopping myths, debunked.
Myth: Your Risk of Identity Theft is Apparent
FACT: Actually, online shopping is just as safe if not safer than shopping at your local store. Of the major identity theft breaches that have occurred in recent years, hackers targeted major brick and mortar retailer branches to grab personal and financial information from millions of people.
A recent ID theft ring stole mail from Target customers to breach their credit accounts. A recent Home Depot breach cost financial institutions billions in losses. But these breaches were not caused by online shopping. They were targeted attacks on local stores and the credit card swiper machines, similar to dozens of other recent breaches.
Myth: In-Store Shopping is More Convenient
FACT: Certainly, there is room for argument that in-store shopping can be more convenient, namely for two reasons: shoppers get to instantly take home the product they purchased; and in-store returns are instant, too. But, a recent PayPal survey found that saving time and money was the reason why 43% of respondents chose to shop online.
What’s more, retailers like Best Buy, Target and others now feature a buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) process. This enables consumers to still shop online, but enjoy the convenience of picking up their products at the brick and mortar location that’s nearest to them.
Myth: Social Media is the New Shopping Platform
FACT: This is one of the most misunderstood of all online shopping statistics that are out there. Yes, about half of shoppers, or roughly 49%, will be active on social media daily. But a Business News Daily report found that just 12% are actually using these platforms to do their shopping.
The survey referenced in the report polled over 11,000 shoppers worldwide. It found that 59% of shoppers used social media to follow the brands they liked and to learn more about products or services. But still, 45% of those consumers still shopped in a brick and mortar store weekly.
Myth: Retail Stores are Just Showrooms
FACT: According to PWC, over 70% of consumers still prefer to shop in a physical store over an online store. The top items to shop for locally include: groceries, furniture, health and beauty products, books, music and video.
One of the primary reasons why local shopping will never wane in its appeal to consumers is due to the sensory perception it offers. Shoppers are able to see, touch and feel and try on the products they are interested in before buying them; something no online store can ever offer, and something that 67% of consumers desire.
Myth: Webrooming Doesn't Matter
FACT: In reality, they are equally as important. Another PWC report found that showrooming (shopping locally for products but buying them online) had a 32% conversion, whereas webrooming (shopping online for products but buying them locally) had a 30% conversion. The only separating factor here is a meager 2% of consumers.
Furthermore, when shoppers were asked what the primary reason for them shopping online but purchasing the product locally was (when showrooming), 53% made it clear that it was specifically due to the ability to get the product immediately. With newer in-store price-matching offers from retailers, it’s cut an even line, or nearly, between webrooming and showrooming.
Myth: Desktop is More Popular Than Mobile
FACT: As a matter of fact, mobile shopper has already overtaken desktop shopping, albeit by a very thin margin. According to The Guardian, 52% of website visits to online retail stores in 2014 came from mobile devices. Mobile shoppers most often shopped via a tablet device (82%), with the remainder shopping via a smartphone (18%).
Since 2010, mobile shopping has increased by an astounding 2,000% to its current margin, up from the thin 3% it represented just five years ago. With Google’s new Mobile Update, retailers are being forced to convert from shopping apps to mobile-friendly websites, which is projected to increase this number even further in the years to come.
Myth: Online Shoppers Want the Lowest Prices
FACT: A common myth that prevails in regard to online shopping is that most people are shopping online to get the lowest price. But in actuality, this is not the case. In a Simon-Kucher survey, it was found that a vast majority of shoppers are not using the internet to find the lowest price on products.
Rather, consumers preferred the enhanced selection of goods, free shipping and easy online returns as the “determining factor.” Bear in mind that when shoppers can order something in a few clicks and have it delivered to their front door a few days later, for many this is more convenient than getting in the car and driving to the store to a find a product they don’t mind waiting to have.
Myth: Cyber Monday is the Most Profitable Day
FACT: Certainly, it is well-founded to presume that Cyber Monday is the most popular and profitable online shopping day of the year. But a new report is finding that Manic Monday, the second Monday in December, is actually more profitable for retailers.
In a Daily Mail report, it was found that UK consumers would spend £676million in just 24 hours online, pegging it as the most popular online shopping day of the year. It generated between £100million and £25million more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. This was namely because consumers waited to make their holiday purchases due to increased confidence that the packages would be delivered on time and before the yuletide.
Myth: You Lose Money on Returns
FACT: With the rate of returns pegged at about 33% of all products that are purchased online, according to WSJ, e-retailers certainly have their hands full managing their reverse logistics. While many businesses see returns as a cost that they must absorb, emerging studies prove otherwise, that offering hassle-free online product returns can actually make you money.