SOURCE: Compete


September 13, 2011 10:52 ET

Successful Retailers Use Sales and Email Promotions, Free Shipping to Attract Shoppers Online

Kantar Media Compete Online Shopper Intelligence Study Highlights Do's and Don'ts for Retailers

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Sep 13, 2011) - Kantar Media Compete today released data indicating that successful retailers are using free shipping, sales and email promotions to attract increasingly budget-conscious consumers. The results, part of Kantar Media Compete's quarterly Online Shopper Intelligence Study that tracks cross-channel shopping behavior, also show that more than a third of consumers reported that Twitter has been influential or extremely influential on purchase decisions.

Email, social networking influence purchase decisions; SMS use by retailers remains relatively low
Kantar Media Compete's study also found that nearly one in three consumers receive more than 20 emails from retailers in a week. And in good news for retailers relying on email, 89 percent of respondents at least occasionally click through to a retail site from an email or visit a retail site immediately after reading an email.

SMS, on the other hand, is still a largely untapped channel for brands to reach shoppers. During a typical week, three out of four consumers (72.2 percent) don't receive any text messages from retailers.

Do social networking sites influence purchase decisions? Yes. In fact, 35 percent of respondents say that Twitter feeds have been influential or extremely influential on purchase decisions, while 23.5 percent say that Facebook has been influential or extremely influential on purchase decisions.

Consumers save with sales, coupons and deal promotions
Almost three quarters (72.6 percent) of shoppers wait for items to go on sale before they make a purchase. As additional proof of consumer restraint, more than half (55 percent) indicated that they are spending less on entertainment now than a year ago. And sixty percent of consumers buy private label (store brand) products if they are cheaper than the equivalent brand name products.

Consumers continue to be pulled in by coupons/coupon codes and daily deal/group discounts. One in five respondents used a coupon code on their most recent online purchase and nearly 60 percent said that they wouldn't have made their most recent online purchase without a coupon code. A third (37 percent) report using coupons most of the time.

Free shipping inspires more online purchasing, less shopping cart abandonment
Three in four consumers surveyed by Kantar Media Compete said that free shipping would encourage them to purchase more products online. Other key purchasing motivators, all related to shipping as well, include free returns (56.3 percent), faster shipping (40.8 percent) and an in-store pickup option (39.6 percent).

As free shipping becomes increasingly mainstream, consumers have come to expect it -- a shift from the old mindset in which free shipping was a bonus. Almost half (45.7 percent) of respondents received free shipping on their most recent online purchase and more than 60 percent avoid purchasing products online if they have to pay extra for shipping.

L.L. Bean introduced free shipping on all orders without restriction and saw a drop in shopping cart abandonment among unique visitors, though there was no noticeable decline when looking at all visits. Free shipping may entice shoppers to make more visits to the site, a trend confirmed by the bump in repeat visitation to the site in April.

"The proliferation of free shipping is forcing retailers to decide whether the additional orders they gain by offering free shipping will offset the initial loss of shouldering this cost," said Matt Pace, Kantar Media Compete managing director of retail and consumer products. "Online shoppers may stand to benefit from free shipping promotions as retailers determine how to incorporate it into their business model."

Compete Online Shopper Intelligence™ is an industry-wide research report that explores the attitudes and behaviors of online shoppers to provide marketers with powerful insight into the complete online shopping experience.

The Summer 2011 Online Shopper Intelligence™ report was compiled from a survey of 2,574 online purchasers between July 14 and August 8, 2011. For more information about the study, email Debra Arbesman at

About Kantar Media
Established in more than 50 countries, Kantar Media helps clients master the world's multimedia momentum through analysis of print, radio, TV, internet, cinema, mobile, social media, and outdoor worldwide. Kantar Media offers a full range of media insights and audience measurement services through its global business sectors -- Intelligence, Audiences, TGI and Custom. Kantar Media companies also include Compete, Cymfony and SRDS. Drawing upon the deepest expertise in the industry, Kantar Media tracks more than 3 million brands and delivers insight to more than 22,000 customers worldwide.

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