Why don't people shop online - Is there an opportunity?


Last month, we brought you some interesting insights from a survey on online shopping by couponing startup – CouponRani. On similar lines, we now bring you interesting infographics from a survey conducted by social shopping & product discovery startup – Baggout.com. To a great extent, the survey brings forth similar themes as those from CouponRani and we will leave you to explore those yourself. But here are some interesting questions that came to my mind after looking at these infographics:

  • 13% of respondents rarely or never buy online. What is it that will get these people to shop online? One might say that it’s just 13%, so why fuss about them. Hang on! I would expect that people who go to the extent of responding to online surveys are fairly active internet users. So if more than a 10th of them don’t shop online, it IS something to worry about...
  • According the survey, the primary deterrents to buying online arise from not being able to physically check out and verify the product. That is very understandable in case of the most purchased category according to the survey – Clothes & accessories. Also true, to some extent for the next most purchased category – Electronics. But then Books rank at #3! Why aren’t the naysayers to online shopping buying books at least? Do they not read?
  • Maybe it is because of the risk of misuse of credit cards & personal information that some people are not buying online. Wait a minute – most big eCommerce companies today provide cash on delivery! So is it the personal information being misused that they worry about? I wonder how many of them have Aadhaar cards! And I also wonder if they don’t fill out their details on comment cards at restaurants or subscribe to loyalty programs from retail stores.

Ok, time for some introspection and self-reflection. Till 3 years ago, I never shopped online. I thought it would be tedious, I was wary of the quality of what I would buy and being someone who doesn’t like to spend time choosing things, I thought I would miss the assistance of the salesperson who would bring me just what I needed. Then came a book that I just couldn’t find at any bookstore. I tried Flipkart and realised that it wasn’t all that tedious, especially for my 2nd purchase given that all my details were already fed in. Since it was a book, I didn’t really suspect the quality and after buying 4 more books, I was convinced enough to even buy a laptop! I’m now a Flipkart loyalist...

My point is this; I believe that there is an attractive potential customer segment to be acquired by focussing on the user who doesn’t buy online and probably doesn’t even like shopping too much. Find ways to get them to do it – identify what product they are most unlikely to doubt, give them customized manual assistance in selection, take all their details on the phone the first time etc. This is likely to give you your most loyal customer base!

Baggout.com is a platform that helps its users discover great products and then provides handsome cashback on each purchase through tie ups with most major online retailers. Users get access to a personalized stream of products on the basis what their friends and other Baggout users are buying online.


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