Online Shopping Decision-Making

The Introduction

Consumers make buying decisions after thorough research and after weighing all the available options. Not only do they stick to one platform to purchase products but multiple platforms. Online shopping is the buzzword these days, but that does not mean offline shopping has become redundant. Both types of shopping coexist in a world full of opportunities.

How Does a Customer’s Online Shopping Decision Influence Online Retailers?

Customers’ online shopping decision or customer’s purchase decision influences the online retail business in many ways. Some of them are:

  1. Online retailers get to know which products are ‘in’ and which products aren’t:

    Online retailers gain a lot through the online purchase decision-making of customers. They know certain products like cosmetics or clothes are in high demand while others are not, thus help showcase the products accordingly.

  2. Online retailers learn about the audience they get more business from:

    Online decision-making of the customers helps retailers learn about those sections of the market who buy more than the other sections. This information helps them in formulating marketing strategies tailored to customers’ online shopping decision-making.

  3. Online retailers know the correct marketing tools:

    Online retailers can map online consumer decisions by learning about the consumers’ preferences. For example, customers nowadays prefer paying in installments or buying two related products and paying a discounted price for them. Online retailers leverage such an online customer’s purchase decision and grow their business accordingly.

  4. The online retailers grow their business based on the online consumer decision:

    Online consumer decision helps retail businesses to grow their businesses based on the products that are in high demand. Customizing orders helps both customers and businesses in buying/selling those products that are needed.

What are the Factors Influencing Online Shopping Decisions of Customers?

Now that we know how a customer’s purchase decision online influences online retail businesses let us look at the other side. In other words, let us look at the factors impacting online shopping decisions. They are as follows:

  • Reviews Found Online

    Reviews written online are a vital tool for making an online shopping influence decision. The reviews can be both positive and negative and, therefore, are confusing at times. There will always be some customers who won’t be happy with their online consumer decision, which is normal. Online retailers should see to it that negative online reviews do not outnumber positive online reviews. They should also request their satisfied customers to give a positive online review to make online decision-making for other customers easier. Marketing Land reports that almost 90% of online customers read online reviews before consumers make buying decisions.

  • Shipping at No Additional Cost

    One of the most critical factors influencing online shopping decisions is free shipping. Online consumers look for ways to save money, and the shipping fee is a charge that nobody is ready to bear. Let’s admit it. What retailers can do is add a certain percentage of shipping charges in their prices, but they have to ensure that the prices are competitive so that consumers keep coming back to you when they make a buying decision online.

  • High Quality of Products and Accurate Information

    Another factor in the list of the factors impacting online shopping decisions is the quality of products. If the quality of a retailer’s products is good, people will come back to buy more. Retailers should mention product specifications, descriptions, warranty information, and others clearly on their site. When customers know what they are buying, they have higher faith in your company and services.

  • Favorable Return Policy

    When customers buy online, there will be times when the product’s color or size does not fit a customer perfectly. What will the online customer do with a small dress or a blue suit instead of a black one? They are not going to throw. After all, did they pay the price of the product to get it thrown? A favorable return policy helps customers in returning their products easily and quickly, without much trouble.

  • A Proper Layout

    When clicking and choosing from categories becomes easier and smoother, it will enrich online consumer decisions. E-commerce websites that have divided sections like categories, payment options, checking out, product information ensure more and more customers turn to their electronic devices for online purchase decision making. There have been cases where customers have not returned back to a website as the check-out process was extremely complicated. No one likes complications, and online shoppers or online consumers are no different.

  • An Additional Product in the Product Range

    Customers always look for an additional product in the product range of an online retailer. They look for products which make life easier. Innovative products are added by online retailers to attract new customers and retain existing customers.

  • Discounts

    Customers always look for discounts so that the products they wish to buy become available at a cheaper rate. Even retail businesses understand this and now offer coupon codes or 24-hour sale options, holiday discounts, and others. In some cases, online retailers sell two complementary products at a discounted price to increase the order value of sales. By doing this, they are getting paid for not one but two products, at times even three products.


The online shopping decision-making process is a new-age development and is an easy one. The factors impacting online shopping decisions of customers will help both online customers and retailers know about the processes and techniques that affect customers’ purchase decisions online. The processes and techniques are pretty simple to understand and can change with the changing needs and preferences of the customers. Thorough research on the customer’s preferences helps understand the patterns and trends that exist online these days. Online customers and retailers need to keep a watch on the new strategies, processes, techniques, and trends. Only then will the online shopping experience become more enriched. An enriched customer experience will ensure a stronger relationship between the customers and the retailers based on communication, trust and loyalty.

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