Study: Navigation Draws Web Consumers, Incentives Sell Them

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Though price remains a key driver of online purchasing activity, buyers chose Web site ease of use as the most important factor in assessing which sites to buy from, according to a new study from Jupiter Research.


Retailers should target buyers with "retainability" traits and offer these segments good prices along with a strong Web experience and customer service, Jupiter's annual retail consumer survey suggested.


The survey analysis and segmentation found that 29 percent of online customers are high spenders and inclined toward retailer loyalty. But a positive online experience, including easy navigation, is a prerequisite.


In other findings, discounted shipping and handling is still consumers' favorite online promotion. Thirty-three percent of the surveyed buyers often or sometimes make unplanned purchases to take advantage of a special deal or promotion. Jupiter claims that retailers will have to continue to offer incentives to influence purchases in the foreseeable future.


That suggestion is even more critical given other survey responses. High or hidden shipping and handling charges have led 44 percent of the surveyed buyers to reduce their purchases at certain stores. Also, 36 percent stopped buying because they were required to register at certain stores.


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