CHICAGO — A Nielsen study released Wednesday found that Americans are lagging behind their Asian and European counterparts when it comes to online shopping. Americans tend to research their purchases online (63%), look up reviews (63%) and find online shopping convenient (78%), but they’re hesitant to pull the trigger and actually make their purchases online.
According to the survey, 46% of Americans don't like to buy online because of shipping costs, and 37% report they don't trust giving their credit card information online.
“While online transactions make it easy to download a book, buy a ticket to a sporting event or book a hotel room, building a consumer base for consumable categories requires more marketing muscle,” stated John Burbank, president of strategic initiatives at Nielsen. “Finding the right balance between meeting shopper needs for assortment and value, while also building trust and overcoming negative perceptions, such as high costs and shipment fees, is vital for continued and sustainable growth.”
The good news for brick-and-mortar retailers is that Americans still prefer going to retailers in person to buy products. They will research online, but still like to purchase in person, particularly for consumable products, such as personal care, health and beauty, food and beverage, pet food and baby supplies.
Asia-Pacific has the highest online buy rates — China and South Korea are leaders in cosmetic products and groceries. Western Europe leads the way on CPG e-commerce — Britain has increased to $91 million in first quarter 2014 from $70 million in the year-ago period and France has increased from $32 million to $42 million over the same time span.
According to the survey, Americans are more open to buying the following online as compared to a survey conducted in 2011:
- Airline reservations - 43% in 2014 vs. 19% in 2011 and hotel/tours - 43% in 2014 vs. 16% in 2013;
- Electronic equipment - 31% in 2014 vs. 15% in 2011;
- Ebooks -35% in 2014 vs. 11% in 2011;
- Music non download - 31% in 2014 vs. 18% in 2011; and
- Clothing/shoes - 43% in 2014 vs. 35% in 2011.