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Consumers reluctant to buy big-ticket items online

Consumers prefer to make big-ticket purchases in-store, new research has claimed.

The Webrooming vs Showrooming Report from e-commerce agency PushON, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers, found that 62 per cent of shoppers preferred to buy pricey, considered purchases in-store rather than online.

The majority (82 per cent) believed that in-store purchasing gave them more security when buying expensive items, as they could see what a product looks like before committing to a purchase.

Almost half (47 per cent) of shoppers liked to research a product online when deciding what to buy, but then opted to purchase in-store.

Furthermore, more than three-quarters (79 per cent) said they had seen an expensive product online that they have liked, but had gone in-store to make the final purchase.

When it came to how much consumers were willing to spend online, more than a third (39 per cent) said they were willing to spend a maximum of £1,000 online, but would feel safer handing over larger sums of cash in person.

Sam Rutley, managing director at PushON, said: “Consumers seem to feel very comfortable researching expensive products online, because they can compare a lot of options in a short amount of time without having to travel to lots of different shops. But the issue lies with when they come to make the final purchase, as many don’t currently feel confident doing this over the internet – mainly because they can’t see what the product looks like in real life.

“With customers reluctant to spend large amounts online, this limits the types of sales that retailers can make through their websites. Of course, this will have a greater effect on those retailers that sell higher-value purchases, such as cars, kitchens or furniture, and could drastically lower their online sales.

“Retailers need to be addressing this issue by building up the same level of trust and reliability online that customers feel they receive when shopping in-store. They should therefore re-evaluate the customer support they provide across all purchasing platforms, so customers feel confident in the products they’re buying and trust in the online process. If not, some retailers could be missing out on thousands of pounds in lost sales and revenue.”

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