NEW YORK — Think shoppers are done with going to physical stores during the holidays? Don’t be so sure. More than half of Americans have sworn off shopping for holiday deals online because of fake items or unreliable sellers.
In a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. respondents, three-quarters say they will “always” Google a product before buying it. Meanwhile, three in five have canceled an existing order or purchase after looking the product up online. The biggest reason? Sixty-three percent found reviews or ratings that changed their mind after hitting “buy.”
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Fakespot, the survey also found that two-thirds of consumers reportedly impulse-buy more during the weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday than they do at any other point in the year.
Holiday shoppers blow more than $200 on fake Amazon products
During the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, respondents will unfortunately spend an average of $208 on Amazon products that end up being fakes, knock-offs, or will not meet expectations. That may be why 62 percent are more hesitant about shopping during the holiday season than any other time of year.
On the other hand, more than half admit that they’ve knowingly bought potential knockoff products. Sixty-four percent say the product they purchased looked exactly like the real item but cheaper. Another 52 percent say it was an impulse buy and 51 percent believed it was a very good deal. When shopping online during the holidays, more than half (55%) equate a product’s quality with the quality of its reviews.
Other factors people use to determine an item’s quality include the brand’s reputation (44%) and the number of reviews for that product (43%). Americans say these factors are much more important than an item’s place of origin (24%), ingredients (23%), or best-selling status (14%).
Don’t like it? Return it
In addition to worrying about fake items, survey-takers worry the most about not getting their delivery on time (49%), paying too much (42%), and getting the wrong item (38%). In fact, more than half the poll feel pressured for time when making online purchases.
“It’s easy for someone in a rush to overlook essential details about what they’re ordering,” says Saoud Khalifah, Fakespot’s Founder and CEO, in a statement. “A lot of online retailers will feed into that sense of urgency with limited-time discounts or rewards, all with the goal of making you hit the ‘checkout’ button faster than you usually would.”
Forty-four percent note they rely more on reviews when purchasing items that they need delivered by a certain date. Nearly three in five people (57%) are likely to buy items with bad online reviews or ratings if they know they can return the items.
“It’s not surprising that more than half of Americans have sworn off shopping for holiday deals online because of fake items or unreliable sellers,” Khalifah adds. “Online marketplaces have to do a better job of reviewing their listings and sellers so they don’t lose their customers’ trust.”