You can go anywhere in the world yet still discover, that for many consumers, price is the most important factor that determines  where and when to shop. However promotional offers, customer service, the retailer’s reliability, choice and convenience are other factors that  consumers take into consideration. A US study conducted in 2012 by The NPD Group reported that for 85% of consumers price needs to be right before they decide where to shop. In an Internet Retailing blog using data from a global study by online retail marketplace Rakuten they reported that price, the retailer’s reliability, and choice are all important factors that shoppers around the world consider before they buy.

Previously issues such as payment and delivery options were long-perceived by retailers to be key issues for consumers. The Rakuten study asked online shoppers in 12 countries and found that overall, 61% of global shoppers said price was the most important issue for them when shopping over the internet. Some 49% said the retailer’s reliability was paramount, and 40% said choice was the next most important feature.

These surveys demonstrate how much retail has changed and how much power the consumer has over retailers. It goes without saying that retailers don’t just take global trends to determine the strategies they should use. In the UK, for example more than two-thirds of shoppers indicated price as an important factor, while 44% of shoppers said that choice was the most critical feature in an online store. In Germany, 58% cited price, while 57% named choice. In Japan, 29% of shoppers valued on-site rewards. And even though 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.

Because price isn’t the only consideration for astute consumers, retailers need to have good quality information so that they can see what their customers see when they are researching and shopping online, giving them an advantage, not only in terms of knowledge, but also in terms of time. And with this level of sound data analysis, retailers can make highly responsive decisions, maximising their benefit to the needs of their customers. Of course, consumers will inevitably continue to compare prices across the Internet using mobile devices and computers to find the best deals. However, to lower abandonment rates, increase sales and revenue, and build a strong reputation with online shoppers, retailers should consider the value of using price intelligence.

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