Consumers continue to shop online, according to an AVG Technologies survey, which showed a snapshot of online shopping habits of Australian and New Zealand shoppers.

The vast majority (82.1 per cent) of survey respondents had made online purchases in the last 12 months, indicating to retailers how vital web-based sales service and dynamic social media activity is to their profitable future.

The results also rate convenience (44.2 per cent) and price (37 per cent) as the great motivators for online shopping

“Retailers need to make the experience easy, with well-designed and navigated sites. Importantly, the experience should also be a safe one. Not only the financial transaction but customer information and business data must be protected from malicious attacks and fraud,” Michael McKinnon, AVG security advisor, said in analysing the survey results.

Meanwhile, 10 per cent of respondents cited badly designed websites limited their online shopping.

At the same time, brand familiarity (41 per cent), product reviews (37.3 per cent) and suggestions from family and friends (15.4 per cent) were revealed as the greatest influences on choice. But only 6.4 per cent of potential customers were influenced by email promotions or mentions on social media and 84.2 per cent had not yet used a mobile device for online transactions.

“The fact that these newer technologies barely make a mark on this survey is perhaps skewed by the predominant age bracket of the respondents (74.9 per cent of whom were 50+),” McKinnon said.

“It is clear for those businesses targeting  Millennials (18 to 34 year olds) that social media has a greater influence on buying preferences and are important tools in building brand and increasing ‘word of mouth’ referrals.”

It is evident consumers feel safest when purchasing via PayPal;  it registered as the preferred payment method at 48 per cent, followed by using a credit card (33 per cent), followed by debit card (16 per cent), EFTPOS (2.8 per cent) and with just 1 per cent opting for BPAY.
“It’s encouraging to see that our safety-aware messages are breaking through and that significant numbers of those responding to the survey are looking for the security options when shopping online,” McKinnon said.