What drives you to shop the internet?

Guidance, a company providing technology advisory services, recently commissioned a study of consumer's criteria for internet shopping. I found the results eye-opening.

Show me the money: As you might expect, 43% of you listed price as your #1 factor: Men were slightly higher in this category at 46%. More surprising to me was that those in upper income brackets were substantially more likely to shop on price than lower income customers. 53% of those above $50,000 listed price as their primary consideration, vs. only 37% for those earning less than $25,000. Perhaps that's why they have money.

Price is almost twice as important to young people as to gray-hairs. Retirees placed a much higher value on free shipping, though. Overall, 18% of respondents chose free shipping as their primary consideration, but this rises to 25% among older customers.

My experience runs counter to that of the study's respondents, of whom only 4% listed speed of checkout as the most important factor. I've dumped any number of orders when the checkout process became too unwieldy. When they demand I create an account and password, they've lost me as a customer.

The study has a bit of bad news for brick and mortar companies-- the ability to return items to a local store had very little impact on online purchasers,. Only 1% listed that as their primary motivator.

One more item of interest; those with higher incomes are more swayed by coupons and special promotions.

As we dig for deals for you, we'll use these results to help guide our efforts.