ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost half (42%) of Americans now prefer online shopping to browsing in physical stores, research conducted on behalf of Rakuten.com Shopping has found. This figure is even higher among younger consumers with 51% of 27-38 year olds expressing preference for online over offline shopping. The trend towards ecommerce means that significant numbers now shop online more than we date, read or say 'I love you'. And the richest among us seem keener on snuggling up with new purchases rather than dates – with 70% claiming to shop online more than they 'step out' with a partner.
27 -32 year olds are the least romantic according to the research, conducted in the run up to the most romantic day of the year. Almost 40% in this age group admitted to making purchases online more than they muttered the three special words, and 37% of them subscribe to the 'date less, shop more' ethos.
Bernard Luthi, CMO and COO at Rakuten.com Shopping, explains: "Shopping habits are rapidly changing – the trend towards online means that it is quicker and easier for consumers today to get their retail fix, particularly when multitasking. The research shows that a quarter of us browse online while watching prime time TV between 8 and 11pm, proving the point made by 86% of respondents, that shopping online is more convenient for today's consumers."
Despite the move online, consumers still want the personal touch associated with 'bricks and mortar' browsing. Nearly a third (29%) of Americans seek the opinions of their peers via social networks before making a purchase, and 40% of teenage shoppers share their wish lists and potential purchases via social networks to gauge their opinion before buying, a trend that continues though the twenties and early thirties. 60% said that they like the human interaction and opportunity to speak with a salesperson when physically shopping and almost 40% stated that the replication of this online – enabling consumers to speak with online merchants in real time to ask questions – would encourage them to spend even more time and money online.
Luthi continues: "What this shows is that consumers want all of the efficiency offered by online shopping without losing that all-important personal touch. The aim of Rakuten.com Shopping is to offer just that, allowing consumers to buy online from real people."
Rather than browsing aimlessly through ecommerce sites, over three quarters (78%) of shoppers reported that they head online with a clear idea of what they're looking for. This figure rises with age with 83% of 61 – 70 year olds and almost 90% of those aged over 71 heading online with purpose. The younger markets however, showed a clear trends towards prolonged browsing without a defined 'need'; almost half (47%) of teens questioned reported that they go online without knowing exactly what they are looking for. This figure drops to 37% of those in their twenties but suggests a clear trend among younger shoppers moving away from treating the Internet as a vending machine for quick and impersonal purchases.
The ability to bag a bargain online has long been perceived as a key driver for ecommerce but it is time, rather than money that today's consumers are most looking to save. 86% of respondents claimed that the convenience of online purchases as well as the efficiency was the key factor, while only 40% claimed that saving money was their primary motivator. The financial factor was again overlooked when asked whether concerns about the economy would impact their online spend; 50% intend to spend the same amount this year as in 2012 while almost a third (29%) expect to spend more online throughout 2013. And the higher earners are even more bullish – 40% of consumers earning more the $250,000 per year confessed to being likely to spend more online this year than last.
*Most shoppers spend between $25 - $50 on Valentine's gifts – Experian 2012
About Rakuten.com Shopping
Rakuten.com Shopping is a global e-commerce site that connects buyers and sellers in a dynamic marketplace and thinks of shopping as entertainment—complete with sharing and discovery functions, great prices, fun experiences and convenience for 18 million customers. Rakuten.com Shopping provides over 16 million products in 24 categories and includes a network of over 5,500 small and large business shop owners. Rakuten.com Shopping was founded as Buy.com in 1997 and acquired by Rakuten Inc. in May 2010. Its 175 employees are headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California.
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ:4755), is one of the world's leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit: http://global.rakuten.com/group.
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SOURCE Rakuten.com Shopping