Resilient shoppers have honed their skills based on attributes that they have learned over time in the online trenches.

There is a great deal of discussion about resilient retailers, so I decided it might be interesting to talk about how a retailer just might spot a resilient shopper. I offer tips about behavior supported by findings from our Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights conversion survey of 1,060 online shoppers conducted in January 2023. Throughout this post, I will also incorporate gender and age cuts that truly tell the underlying story.

1. Finding the best price

A range of “money-oriented conditions must be in place to foster conversion, starting with free shipping, the right price and promotions. The right price drives conversion for 66% of online shoppers surveyed. Females overindex by 10% (71% vs. 61%) and older shoppers are much more likely to buy if they believe they have found the right price. Promotions beyond free shipping drove conversion for 36%, with females once again valuing more (39% vs. 32%). Age also factored in, as detailed in the chart below.

Email still captures shopper attention and drives conversions, though emails that include offers really resonate. Those with an offer serve as a conversion driver among 22% of respondents, while those simply highlighting new items or trends without an offer are only a conversion factor for 8%.

When asked about what causes cart abandonment, price-driven factors can alter a shopper’s plan. Survey responses included adding items to cart to compare prices (19%) and the site not accepting coupon codes (18%).


And in terms of omnichannel shopping, when retailers incentivized shoppers with a discount to buy across channels, 42% revealed that it factored into their likelihood to purchase.

2. Avoiding paying for shipping

Free shipping remains the No. 1 attribute likely to lead a shopper to place an order. It resonates more with females and older shoppers.

Looking at the abandonment angle, these same shoppers were likely to leave their carts when shipping costs made the total cost of the order more than expected (35%), they didn’t qualify for free shipping (29%) or unexpected additional expenses (tax, white glove, delivery) occurred (18%).


3. Selecting a retailer’s channels based on strategic advantages

Omnichannel flexibility starts with shoppers selecting channels with the option to pick up in store (26%) and curbside pickup (17%) being factors in the likelihood to convert. Product availability and conveniences drive omnichannel purchasing.

Conversion-wise, beyond availability, it’s all about location, location, location from the proximity to store (43%) and type of pickup location (20%). The retailer’s ability to quickly turn around orders is critical, according to 41% who noted the time when orders can be ready for pickup is a conversion driver. Perhaps the most strategic advantage is a positive experience with retailers, as 30% indicated.


Taking advantage of customer service choices

To put things in perspective, 81% of survey respondents interacted with retailers, but one in five had no customer service interactions at all.

Asking online shoppers to evaluate conversion drivers; 21% cited easy access to on-site customer service. And 19% noted the ability to contact customer service via multiple means including text and social. The quality of customer interactions counted toward subsequent conversion (24%), and interactions with customer service reps (16%) also mattered. Traditional options like email and phone calls still serve shoppers well with conversion likelihood via email (40%), chat with humans (37%) and phone calls (26%) high on the list. Text (at 21%) and interaction via social media (at 12%) were more limited.


4. Seizing return options

Return policies and conversion elements rank near the top when it comes to conversion. Shopper preference is for free return shipping (55%), straightforward/easy return policy (42%) including a return choice to the physical store of purchase (32%) and beyond to partnering retailers (36%).


5. Find fastest way to purchase

Fundamentals that are most likely to drive conversion include free shipping, price, product selection, availability and trust. From a speed perspective, that means a fast checkout (32%) and a fast-loading site (21%). Other conveniences that speak to speed include the 21% who cite easy reorder features.

Abandonment issues that were speed-related were minimal but worth touching upon:

  • Checkout page returned an error/glitched: 12%
  • Checkout process too long: 10%
  • Loaded too slow: 9%

Mobile phone users require efficient shopping experiences that take into account the UX needs of the device. Efficiency is especially important with mobile devices. The first obstacle is an entrenched comfort with desktop among 28% of participants. Other efficiency inhibitors were comparison difficulty (26%), too much scrolling (25%), slow load times (24%) as well as too many steps (17%).


6. Seeking out quick delivery

Fast shipping tops the list of initiatives that drive conversion, and online shoppers surveyed gave it a 61% penetration. Along with that were guaranteed delivery times, which were a conversion factor for 39%. Causing abandonment were delivery dates that did not meet the shopper’s needs (18%) and no guaranteed delivery date (12%).

7. Use on-site information and tools to their advantage

The user experience on best-in-class retailers is complete with information and tools that bolster the category’s shopping experience. For 41%, converting starts with the overall experience, while the quality/quantity of product reviews comes in close at 39%. Ample product information and imagery (28%), site search that returns relevant results (24%), videos including product demonstrations (13%) and interactive tools (9%) round out the results.


8. Locate in-stock product

One of the top conversion drivers was in-stock product (45%). Alternatively, cart abandonment takes place when products are out of stock, according to 22% of those surveyed. One thing we know about online shoppers in particular is they are not willing to wait when delivery times don’t meet expectations. Product availability was also important when it came to shoppers’ likelihood of placing an order for store pickup. It was the most important factor, with 47% citing it.


9. Trust of the retailers

A number of factors in driving conversion are “trust-oriented.” It starts with having trust in the brand, as 46% of survey respondents cited. Tangentially, 28% noted being part of a loyalty program. Another interesting side note might be that the retailer supports causes that are important to the consumer, which 12% of participants suggested.

Shoppers have long memories, and past experiences with retailers are also important. When it comes to trust, 45% cited that as a conversion driver.


Online shoppers are savvy. They have sharpened their skills finding the best prices, seeking in-stock products for delivery or store pickup. Customer-service interactions prove to be important to conversion, as do shopper-friendly return policies. Fast remains non-negotiable for online shoppers from the user experience to receipt of one’s order.

Lastly, it comes down to a positive experience, which engenders satisfaction and trust.

Sign up

Stay on top of the latest developments in the ecommerce industry. Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 Retail News.


Follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook. Be the first to know when Digital Commerce 360 publishes news content.