Google paid search results that included pictures of products influenced 31 percent of online purchases during the holidays, according to Baynote's 4th Annual Holiday Shopper Survey.
The survey offers many other interesting insights into how consumers interacted with online shopping sites over the shopping weekend ending with Cyber Monday.
- Free shipping: This was a much more important factor for customers determining where to purchase from online. Sixty percent of shoppers felt free shipping, without any conditions attached, was extremely important, up from 58 percent in 2012.
- Price matching: Physical retailers should be concerned on price matching from online sites. It's quite common for physical retailers to offer to match competitor's flyers and sales, but they refuse to match online pricing. Sixty percent of shoppers purchased a product from Amazon or another online competitor while they were actually in a store, because the store wouldn't match the price.
- Branded Apps: Usage of branded apps, although some people have a love-hate relationship with them, has been increasing greatly. Thirty-four percent of shoppers made a purchase through retailer branded apps, an increase of 48 percent over 2012.
- Coupons: Shoppers in physical stores redeemed many coupons using a mobile device. Sixty-one percent redeemed a mobile coupon from their smartphone while doing an in store checkout. And 62 percent of those surveyed used their smartphone to compare pricing while in the store.
- Customer reviews and product ratings: Forty-eight percent of online shoppers were influenced by online reviews and ratings, which was a 45 percent increase over 2012. For in-store shoppers, 37 percent were influenced by reviews and ratings while an impressive 52 percent of shoppers use their phones to look up specific product ratings while they were in the store. Sixty-nine percent of shoppers are doing their own research at home to avoid requiring sales assistance in the store.
- Email marketing: Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they make purchases or take advantage of promotions they receive from stores via email.
- Online inventory: This influenced a large percentage of shoppers – 82 percent will shop at another online site when the original site does not have a specific product in stock. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they will check in-store inventory online before visiting the store.
Baynote has also created an infographic with some key holiday shopping stats for 2013: