That more and more Czech consumers have gotten used to ordering items over the internet is not surprising but what has changed is that other factors than price are now playing a key role. A new poll conducted by the Association for e-commerce outlined some of the criteria consumers now expect to be met when they buy online.
Last year, Czechs spent 81 billion crowns on e-commerce, ordering everything from books and sports items to clothes and toys; according to estimates, sales this year will increase again by as much as 20 billion. A survey conducted by the Association for e-commerce and cited by Czech TV suggests that more and more Czech internet users now rely on the internet when shopping: 90 percent buy online at least once a year, while younger users order items over the internet more often – as much as once a month.
What is evolving, the poll suggests, are factors which determine when a customer clicks on ‘Buy’; while in the past, there was more emphasis on the “right price”, many now put equal or greater stock in other details such as proper product information, delivery costs, or items being in stock.
Hana Hutlová, marketing manager of one online retailer focusing on brand name fashion, confirmed that the “in stock” bar was a key selling point. Hana Hutlová:
“Over the last year-and-a-half, we significantly boosted our warehouse capacity. Potential customers are more and more interested in whether we have products in stock and they want them as soon as possible. If they can, they’d like to have them as early as the next day.”
Price has become less a determining factor as consumers have gotten more used to relying on price search engines to get a general overview. With a price history and comparison in hand, other factors translate into successful sales. Hana Hutlová again:
“We offer proper descriptions with our products; also, we include customer reviews, which are testimony of a product’s quality.”
According to the survey, 15 percent of users online put stock in customer reviews. Quality and a good overview, understandably, are key factors. Tomáš Anděl, the head of customer service for another online retailer, makes clear communication is important in order to stay ahead of the curve.
“Right now it is really important that customers get quality service, that they learn what they need to know about the products and that they communicate with us about the product and its use.”
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