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onine shoppingDo online retailers have a better chance of beating the global recession than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts?

It's no secret that consumers are cutting back big time. Frugality is the new chic. Tight budgets and high fuel prices are leading to an increase in cocooning that can't be wholly attributed to bitter winter weather. Even New York City is reporting subway ridership has scaled back to levels not seen since the 1950s, as workers lose jobs and shoppers don't leave home to shop.

Hard to find bright spots in such scenarios, but grim economic times could bode better for online retailers than their beleaguered meatspace counterparts. A recent Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates survey finds 26 percent of consumers saying they'll shop more online if their personal financial situation worsens in the coming year.

These so-called "recession shoppers" aren't just buying online to save shoe leather and tire treads. They're hunting for rock-bottom prices, deep discounts and solid deals.

Most of all, recession shoppers love coupons.

  • 68% of "recession shoppers" (and 79% of "weekly shoppers") purchased something online they wouldn't have otherwise because of a coupon or discount.
  • 64% of "recession shoppers" (and 70% of "weekly shoppers") said they purchased something from a particular online retailer they wouldn't have otherwise because of a coupon or discount.

Additional findings include:

  • 74% of online shoppers receive e-mail alerts from their favorite retailers
  • Recession shoppers are 17 points more likely to research products or services online several times a week than average users
  • Consumers - 34 year olds make more online purchases every month than any other age group
  • 34% of those surveyed plan buy more online in 2009 than they did last year

While on the surface these findings would seem to bode well for online retailers, there are more than a few caveats and unknowns tied up in the findings. Where's the ROI? Where's the customer loyalty?

In short, are recession shoppers the customer segment retailers should work, and spend, to attract during tough times? Sales are sales, and orders are order. But the bottom line is still the bottom line, and profit matters. Navigating the treacherous waters of a recession is hard enough without being held hostage by customers insisting on ever-deeper discounts and ever-sweeter deals before they'll hit that 'buy' button.

Rebecca Lieb

Published 2 February, 2009 by Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb oversees Econsultancy's North American operations.

Follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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ShoppingPro

Ecommerce continues to thrive regardless of recession.  As it becomes more cost effective, markets are flooding with ecommerce businesses, upping the ante for marketing space.  This attributes to the need for experienced and capable internet marketers.  As customers become more frugal and savvy with Internet, it becomes more challenging for ecommerce businesses to compete and sustain a loyal customer base. 

over 7 years ago

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ShoppingPro

Ecommerce continues to thrive regardless of recession.  As it becomes more cost effective, markets are flooding with ecommerce businesses, upping the ante for marketing space.  This attributes to the need for experienced and capable internet marketers.  As customers become more frugal and savvy with Internet, it becomes more challenging for ecommerce businesses to compete and sustain a loyal customer base. 

over 7 years ago

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ZoomerangBlog

I recently came across Internet Retailer’s latest monthly survey which revealed that to build e-commerce sites that drive more traffic and sales, retailers are creating interactive page treatments and online merchants are making site optimization a top priority. The study revealed that 49.9% of merchants have rolled out a new site design in the past year, including 26.6% in the last six months and 13.3% within 90 days. By taking a more business-oriented approach to web site design, 81.7% of merchants also expect their latest redesign to attract a higher number of visitors and shoppers, compared with 76.7% that anticipate higher sales, 66.7% a higher sales conversion, 50% improved customer service and 48.3% better multi-channel sales.

over 7 years ago

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Vish

This is a perfectly timed article on shopping trends. We have launched a new consumer electronics shopping website (TrueHotDeals) with web 2 features recently and already noticing the recession impact on customer purchases. Our site visits are growing at a good rate, and as the stores have to retain their sales in this economic downturn, their offers and discounts on products are much deeper now-a-days.

over 7 years ago

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Smarterdeals

www.SmarterDeals.com provides Online Shopping and best price comparison features exclusively for hi-tech products, like - computer hardware, software and electronics.  You can make best deal out of it.

over 7 years ago

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Smarterdeals

For <a href="http://www.smarterdeals.com/"><b>Online shopping</b></a> and price comparison of various electronic products visit at smarterdeals.com. It is provide best solution.

over 7 years ago

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