Habits of Online Shopping – Auction Shoppers
The potential of saving 10 or even 20 percent of the retail price of an item by bidding in an online auction draws many online consumers to auction site after auction site. There are those users who are frequent bidders and have their hands in multiple bids at any given time. Sometimes, these bidders try to get a great deal so that they can turn around and sell the same item for profit. Other times, these bidders simply enjoy the thrill of winning.
In addition to frequent bidders in online shopping auctions, there are the users who come and go to these sites as the need arises. Maybe they are looking for a gift or they have decided to make a purchase and thought an online shopping auction could save them a few bucks.
Aside from these two kinds of auction bidders, there are the window shoppers. These folks may be in the researching or price shopping phase. Perhaps they are not sure they trust in or believe the online auction process. Or, maybe they are just not familiar with the e-commerce site and need some time to look around and get comfortable. Sometimes, the window shoppers are researching the website as much as they are researching a product.
Website reviews are often more important than product reviews to online shopping consumers. For example, a website selling a popular item at a fraction of the cost may still have a hard time selling such an item if the site is known to be fraudulent or has very negative reviews. Customers conducting online shopping transactions trust a website with sensitive financial and personal information. No matter how amazing a sale, the majority of online shoppers will not give such information to a website known to have security issues or highly dissatisfied consumers.
Once a site, especially an auction site, has been deemed safe and trustworthy by online shoppers, it still does not warrant a sale. Beyond the safety of financial information, customers will see a red flag if a large portion of reviews say the product sold was not the product they received. Auction sites are under an even bigger microscope to protect consumers from getting ripped off. For example, if a customer bids on and wins a PlayStation 3 but receives a PlayStation 2, this review would reflect negatively on the website as well as the seller. In many cases, auctions integrate customer feedback to review sellers so that any future consumer can read the ratings and reviews of a seller before making a purchase. In a way, an online shopping auction site is putting the burden to avoid negative reviews and build consumer trust on an individual seller using the site. Some auction sites even go so far as to ban sellers who break certain rules about misleading consumers.
Online shopping habits are typically progressive, meaning that once a window shopper feels comfortable enough to make a purchase, he or she will visit again. The next time they are ready to buy an item, they are likely to remember the fun, thrill, ease and savings they experienced in the online bidding site before and go there again. After having visited a few times, they will come back more often and could quickly find themselves buying most goods online.