What influences a consumer’s buying decision in an online store?

Mari Oksanen Written by Mari Oksanen - Dec 7, 2020

These exceptional times have undoubtedly accelerated shopping online, attracting new industries and also new consumers. As more and more purchases are made online, the tolerance threshold for any kind of friction during the purchasing process is lowered and purchases are easily abandoned. Right now online stores should be aware of the things that influence a consumer’s buying decision online.

The biggest influence isn’t the price, but the ease and smoothness of buying. As many as 51% of respondents to our recent survey mentioned it influencing their purchasing decision. In many cases, the online store is so familiar to the merchant themselves that challenges to the ease and smoothness of shopping simply go unnoticed. Regular user testing will certainly pay for itself. And if you don’t want to pay professionals to do it, have friends test the purchasing process and provide feedback, or arrange a student project related to the topic that can also provide many good observations.




Free delivery came in well-deserved second (32%). Where possible, delivery charges should be distributed into product prices. Even if the product is available at a good price, the purchasing path is easily interrupted because of expensive delivery fees. A good way is to offer free shipping when the order total exceeds a certain amount. This also allows you to make additional sales at the same time.

Sales campaign took third place (28%). With a little effort, it’s really easy to compare online prices. It’s worth considering different discount strategies. Not everything can be always on sale, as some form of margin is also needed in a profitable business.

Other aspects that influenced buying decisions included good and fast availability (27%), personal financial situation (18%), hygienic way to shop (10%) and nationality and locality of the product (8%). The merchant can’t influence the buyer’s financial situation, but the origin of products and the speed of delivery can be. Many optimization steps are very simple and sound almost self-evident, but still, or perhaps precisely because of this, they easily go unnoticed.

We also delve into the results of this consumer survey in the report “Experiences of changes in eCommerce during the pandemic. The report compiles our research on the subject and merchant experiences behind the figures. Read the report.

Experiences of changes in eCommerce during the pandemic



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