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Online merchants can benefit from revealing competitors' prices on their website, even if the competitor's price is lower. So says a new study, "Comparison Shopping is a Way of Life," conducted by the E-Tailing Group Inc. Nearly a third of online consumers who comparison shop said they like to see competitors' prices while shopping on a retailer's website, and 39 percent said such a display would make them more loyal to that retailer, even if its rivals' prices were lower. The study also discovered that 53 percent of web shoppers, after shopping on a retailer's website that revealed competitors' pricing, said they would be less inclined to comparison shop elsewhere.
"This survey dispels the notion that displaying competitive prices will encourage customers to abandon that retailer and go to a competitor," said the study's analysts. "Conversely, the findings provided assurance that 78 percent would likely return to a retailer that shows competitors' prices on its website, and 36 percent would be much more loyal to that merchant." The study, based on a survey of more than 1,000 frequent online shoppers, was sponsored by WinBuyer, a provider of a comparison pricing application that retailers can deploy on their own ecommerce sites. The study also revealed the following:
- More than a third of online shoppers spend more than half an hour comparison shopping, and 65 percent spend at least 16 minutes comparison shopping before deciding whether to purchase a commodity product.
- A whopping 95 percent of online shoppers visit at least two websites when comparison shopping, and 51 percent check four or more sites prior to making a purchase decision.
- Well over half, 57 percent, of survey respondents said it's important to have comparison pricing information on an online retailer's product pages, and more than 40 percent said this would save them time and money.
- Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents said they expect all retailers of commodity products to offer comparison pricing on their ecommerce sites.
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