Half of global shoppers prioritise trust when buying online, Rakuten survey finds


Consumers love a bargain but almost half of global shoppers consider the reliability of the retailer to be paramount when making purchase decisions online, highlighting the importance of trust, according to an international survey into consumer shopping preferences by online marketplace, Rakuten.

Retailer trust was most valued in the east, where countries such as Indonesia and Thailand ranked reliability as the number one feature when shopping online. Meanwhile, in Europe, reliability came second only to price, with over two thirds of British shoppers citing price as an essential purchase driver. 

Contrary to the popular belief shipping and payment options are of high importance to consumers, research revealed less than a third (29%) of shoppers surveyed globally saw shipping options as a key factor in their purchase decision. This average falls to 26% in Europe.  

Meanwhile, payment options were even less significant, accounting for just 20% of responses globally. Notably, this fell to just 6% for British shoppers and 9% for Americans. However, in mainland Europe payment accounted for two thirds more than in the UK.

“Competition online is evolving, discerning shoppers will always look for a good deal, but as retailers we need to move away from a model of unsustainable cost cutting towards value creation,” said Adam Stewart, marketing director, Rakuten’s Play.com.

“This research shows, while price is important shoppers are increasingly looking for more than that online, they want brands they can rely on, that deliver entertaining and secure shopping experiences. Retailers need to focus on creating a reliable shopping experience in order to build loyal consumers who are happy to come directly to them for their shopping needs.”

After price and reliability, 40% of consumers considered choice to be the next most important feature in an online store. This was most critical for German shoppers, over half (57%) ranked it on a par with price (58%), 17% above the global average. In the UK, 44% of shoppers consider choice the most important feature.

Overall Japanese shoppers were most likely to value on-site rewards with over a quarter (29%) requesting this feature. However, globally rewards on site accounted for just 11%. This fell to just 5% in Brazil, 8%in the US but was 12% in the UK. Meanwhile, American shoppers were most interested in on-site reviews with one in seven (14%) selecting this feature, compared to 4%of Spanish and 5% of Brazilian shoppers and a global average of 12%.