How Do Americans Shop? New Survey from SteelHouse Reveals Diverse Online Shopping Personalities, Underscoring Importance of Tailoring Offers Based on Personality to Entice Buyers

How Do Americans Shop? New Survey from SteelHouse Reveals Diverse Online Shopping Personalities, Underscoring Importance of Tailoring Offers Based on Personality to Entice Buyers

Surprising Findings in New Nationwide Survey: Men Care More About Name Brands Than Women Do, Those With Highest Incomes Check Coupon Sites More Than Others

LOS ANGELES (May 18, 2011) – One size does not fit all when it comes to enticing online shoppers to buy, according to a new consumer survey released today from SteelHouse (www.SteelHouse.com).

Americans’ online shopping personalities and buying behaviors are both diverse and distinct – and are not always easy to predict. Some surprising findings: 25 percent of men say they would buy premium brand name products compared to just 16 percent of women. Those in the highest income bracket ($75,000+) look for coupons and require discounts and free shipping more than people who make less money.

Overall, while nearly 40 percent say they always shop with a purpose to find something in particular, 30 percent say they regularly browse with no intention of buying. Making a marketer’s job even more challenging: 12 percent say they never buy from a website on a first visit, even if a discount is offered.

Those are some of the highlights of a new nationwide survey conducted this month by SteelHouse. In conjunction with Chicago market researcher Synovate eNation, SteelHouse asked 1,000 Americans: “What kind of online shopper are you?” They were asked to select all that apply.

Here are the overall results:

  • 44% I read product reviews before I buy.
  • 39% I always shop with a purpose – I look online only when I’m searching for something in particular.
  • 32% I check out coupon sites to get the best price.
  • 30% I browse products regularly, even when I have no intention of buying.
  • 28% I buy only when there’s a discount.
  • 27% I buy only when there’s an offer for free shipping.
  • 20% I buy premium brand name products.
  • 18% I often start the checkout process but don’t end up purchasing.
  • 12% I never buy on my first visit to a website, even if a discount is offered.
  • 11% I never shop online.

Retailers will spend $5.73 billion making offers online this year, according to eMarketer. Typically, marketers blast the same ad with the same offer to millions of consumers, according to SteelHouse CEO and online marketing technology expert Mark Douglas.

“It’s clear that simply giving the same offer to every online shopper is not the way to increase sales,” said Douglas. “We’re people, we approach shopping just like everything else – based on our personalities and ingrained behaviors. Retailers that understand and act on these different shopper personalities in real time are the ones that will be successful.”

Apart from the survey, SteelHouse is using its own anonymous, aggregate shopping behavior metrics collected over the past year to identify and define shopping personality profiles.

Gender and Income Preferences: Not Always What You’d Think

  • According to the SteelHouse/Synovate survey, women feel more strongly about discounts and offers than men. One-third of women say they only buy when there’s a discount, and nearly that same amount say they only buy when free shipping is part of the deal. Less than one-fourth of men say the same.
  • Women are more likely than men to investigate coupon sites before buying (37 percent of women say they do, compared with 26 percent of men).
  • The secret to financial success? Those in the highest income bracket ($75,000+) require discounts and free shipping more than people who make less money: 32 percent in that group say they buy only when there’s a discount (compared with 28 percent overall) and the same percentage say they buy only when shipping is free (compared with 27 percent overall).
  • Those with the highest incomes also check coupon sites more than the others: 37 percent of those who earn $75,000+ look for coupons, compared with 32 percent overall). But they’re also the respondents most likely to buy premium brand names: 29 percent of the highest income category, compared with 15 percent of those who earn under $25,000.

The SteelHouse/Synovate survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. For a full copy of the survey results and a graphic presentation of top-line data, email info@edgecommunicationsinc.com or visit www.steelhouse.com/research.


About SteelHouse

SteelHouse™ (www.SteelHouse.com), a data-driven marketing technology company, brings innovative advertising solutions to brands, agencies, and eCommerce marketers. The SteelHouse team is comprised of veteran direct marketers and engineers from eHarmony, E*TRADE, Oracle and the Rubicon Project. Together, they’ve built the easiest Cloud-based Marketing Platform – SteelHouse CANVAS – one platform for acquisition and retention, which consistently keeps the same message in front of an audience through display, onsite, and social. SteelHouse reaches more than 170 million consumers a month, across hundreds of the world’s largest brands with its award-winning creative and retargeting technologies. SteelHouse is based in Culver City, California.

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Media Contact:
Lauren DeSalvo
PR Manager
pr@steelhouse.com
310-895-2110