SOURCE: immediate future

immediate future

October 12, 2010 07:05 ET

Half of Online Shoppers Don't Know What to Buy

New Research Shows Emerging Group of Collaborative Shoppers

LONDON--(Marketwire - October 12, 2010) -  Almost half (46 per cent) of online shoppers do not have a clear idea what they want to purchase when they go online, according to new research* from social media agency immediate future.

The social shopping research also identifies an emerging group of online shoppers, the collaborators, in addition to hunters and gatherers (first categorised by Gartner in 2007). Whilst a hunter focuses on price, gatherers carefully research detailed product information and collaborators spend time online searching for advice and ideas from other consumers.

And it's these gatherers and collaborators, those in the consideration phase migrating to the internet, who are susceptible to a new range of influences. 

Women hunt in packs
Women are dominating in terms of hunter and collaborator behaviour. And collaborative behaviour is most evident in junior managerial women. They hunt in packs, searching for the best deals online. Men are now more dominant when it comes to gatherer behaviour.

The customer journey is changing
The transactional model, typically used in ecommerce, is no longer the only path to purchase. The customer journey is changing. More of it is taking place online through social media channels. 

72 per cent of the UK internet population have purchased a product or service online in the last month, the highest figure for any country in Europe. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) cite reviews as a key factor prior to making the purchasing decision. And 53 per cent of respondents have reviewed a product or service online in the past month. 

Adam Lewis, director at social media agency immediate future, says: "Social shopping is not just a buyer: they are also an expert, critic, influencer and potential advocate. As the world becomes increasingly more social, online influencers and the sharing of consumer opinion is part of a new route to purchase.

"The challenge for retailers is to build online relationships with them based on service, trust and quality."

Other key findings from the report include:

  • A high demand for discount incentives (75 per cent) and exclusive offers (72 per cent)
  • Cash driven incentives were not the only motivator. 83 per cent of people opted for a combination of transactional and experiential recognition
  • Only 11 per cent prefer transactional rewards

The findings are being presented by immediate future at Internet Retailing on 12th October. However, you can download the full report by visiting or contacting Adam Lewis at immediate future on 0845 408 2031 /

*Research conducted by ODC Services (on behalf of immediate future), surveying a nationally representative online audience of 2,000 people, to find out how consumers are changing their behaviour online and how social media is transforming the retail landscape

Notes to editors

About immediate future
immediate future is an independent communications company that specialises in social media and digital PR for brands alongside business and corporate public relations for the digital marketing industry.

Specialists in online PR and social media relations the company helps brands manage the online conversation and build a positive reputation. Campaigns are enhanced with influential blog relations; SEO PR increases search engines visibility; and online press coverage generates advocacy.

immediate future has created award-winning campaigns for companies, including:
Sony Europe, BBC, Diageo Global, BT, ASOS, Mirror Group, Cancer Research, NSPCC, EMI, AVG, Ferrero, GoView (PSP and Sky joint venture), Epson Europe, HSBC and HPI Check

First SEO PR in the UK
First use of blog comms for Sanex, a Sara Lee brand
First to run an Online PR training course with E-consultancy

Online Reputation Awards 2010: Winner Best Use of Online PR/Blogger Relations
European Business Awards 2009: Ruban d'Honneur recipient for Marketing Strategy of The Year
MediaGuardian Innovation Awards 2009: Finalist for PR Campaign
The Drum Marketing Awards 2009: Finalist for Best PR Strategy
Marketing Society Golden Jubilee Awards 2009: Finalist for Digitally Led Marketing

For more information please visit