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Loyalty in online shopping

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday May 24, 2007 )

What keeps online shoppers loyal to a particular ecommerce site? This new survey report provides some insights.

The DoubleClick Performics survey of 1,000 online shoppers who spend over $500 a year on ecommerce sites shows that men are less loyal repeat customers and women are more likely to register for promotional emails regarding special offers.

Other key findings from the survey:

– well over 2/3rd of those surveyed browse multiple stores before executing an online purchase and 42% use comparison shopping search engines

– under half stated that they were somewhat loyal to particular online merchants, but the loyalty was quite conditional.

– 70% of survey respondents were registered in a frequent buyer/loyalty program.

– online order tracking was a very important factor for shoppers when deciding whether to purchase again

– free shipping continues to be the most important factor in driving repeat sales

Free shipping pops up everywhere as being a best practice for not only in increasing conversions and acquiring new customers, but keeping also them coming back for more. I know that I’ve balked at the checkout quite a few times when I’ve seen the final shipping tally and I guess many others do too.

Shipping has to be paid by someone and it can be a big cost for a business, especially when dealing with low margin items; so if you’re in this situation, try a minimum order level in order for customers to qualify for free shipping or try upsell/cross sell an item with a high profit margin during the checkout process. Perhaps even bumping up your prices somewhat to take into account or help offset the cost of shipping might be an option for you – just be sure to tout the free shipping offer on every page of your site, above the fold.

Nothing turns off customers more than nasty surprises during the checkout phase – it’s a psychological sledgehammer.


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Read more of the DoubleClick Performics loyalty survey


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