"Be Mine" New research suggests that Americans are increasingly in love with online shopping this Valentine's Day

 "Be Mine" New research suggests that Americans are increasingly in love with
                     online shopping this Valentine's Day

To mark its official launch, Rakuten.com Shopping shares research into online
shopping habits, showing many Americans are now buying online more often than
saying 'I love you'

-- Almost one third of Americans now shop online more often than going on a
date

-- About half now prefer online shopping to the 'real' thing

-- At an average of $49, Americans spend more online each month than they do
on Valentine's Day gifts*

PR Newswire

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Jan. 31, 2013

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Almost half (42%) of
Americans now prefer online shopping to browsing in physical stores, research
conducted on behalf of Rakuten.com Shopping has found. This figure is even
higher among younger consumers with 51% of 27-38 year olds expressing
preference for online over offline shopping. The trend towards ecommerce
means that significant numbers now shop online more than we date, read or say
'I love you'. And the richest among us seem keener on snuggling up with new
purchases rather than dates – with 70% claiming to shop online more than they
'step out' with a partner.

"Luv U"
27 -32 year olds are the least romantic according to the research, conducted
in the run up to the most romantic day of the year. Almost 40% in this age
group admitted to making purchases online more than they muttered the three
special words, and 37% of them subscribe to the 'date less, shop more'
ethos.
Bernard Luthi, CMO and COO at Rakuten.com Shopping, explains: "Shopping habits
are rapidly changing – the trend towards online means that it is quicker and
easier for consumers today to get their retail fix, particularly when
multitasking. The research shows that a quarter of us browse online while
watching prime time TV between 8 and 11pm, proving the point made by 86% of
respondents, that shopping online is more convenient for today's consumers."

"Friend Me"
Despite the move online, consumers still want the personal touch associated
with 'bricks and mortar' browsing. Nearly a third (29%) of Americans seek the
opinions of their peers via social networks before making a purchase, and 40%
of teenage shoppers share their wish lists and potential purchases via social
networks to gauge their opinion before buying, a trend that continues though
the twenties and early thirties. 60% said that they like the human interaction
and opportunity to speak with a salesperson when physically shopping and
almost 40% stated that the replication of this online – enabling consumers to
speak with online merchants in real time to ask questions – would encourage
them to spend even more time and money online.

Luthi continues: "What this shows is that consumers want all of the efficiency
offered by online shopping without losing that all-important personal touch.
The aim of Rakuten.com Shopping is to offer just that, allowing consumers to
buy online from real people."

"True Love"
Rather than browsing aimlessly through ecommerce sites, over three quarters
(78%) of shoppers reported that they head online with a clear idea of what
they're looking for. This figure rises with age with 83% of 61 – 70 year olds
and almost 90% of those aged over 71 heading online with purpose. The younger
markets however, showed a clear trends towards prolonged browsing without a
defined 'need'; almost half (47%) of teens questioned reported that they go
online without knowing exactly what they are looking for. This figure drops to
37% of those in their twenties but suggests a clear trend among younger
shoppers moving away from treating the Internet as a vending machine for quick
and impersonal purchases.

"It's Time"
The ability to bag a bargain online has long been perceived as a key driver
for ecommerce but it is time, rather than money that today's consumers are
most looking to save. 86% of respondents claimed that the convenience of
online purchases as well as the efficiency was the key factor, while only 40%
claimed that saving money was their primary motivator. The financial factor
was again overlooked when asked whether concerns about the economy would
impact their online spend; 50% intend to spend the same amount this year as in
2012 while almost a third (29%) expect to spend more online throughout 2013.
And the higher earners are even more bullish – 40% of consumers earning more
the $250,000 per year confessed to being likely to spend more online this year
than last.

*Most shoppers spend between $25 - $50 on Valentine's gifts – Experian 2012

About Rakuten.com Shopping
Rakuten.com Shopping is a global e-commerce site that connects buyers and
sellers in a dynamic marketplace and thinks of shopping as
entertainment—complete with sharing and discovery functions, great prices, fun
experiences and convenience for 18 million customers. Rakuten.com Shopping
provides over 16 million products in 24 categories and includes a network of
over 5,500 small and large business shop owners. Rakuten.com Shopping was
founded as Buy.com in 1997 and acquired by Rakuten Inc. in May 2010. Its 175
employees are headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California.

About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ:4755), is one of the world's leading Internet service
companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services
including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card,
e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten
is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western
Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo,
with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit:
http://global.rakuten.com/group.

For media inquiries, please contact Hazel Watts, +1-646-738-8965,
hazel.watts@hotwirepr.com.

SOURCE Rakuten.com Shopping

Website: http://global.rakuten.com
 
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