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Consumers frustrated by ecommerce sites offering too much choice

9th Dec 2014
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Consumers are still frustrated by long-winded searching on ecommerce sites, according to Rackspace’s latest study into shopping habits.

Surveying 2,000 shoppers online and on the high street, Rackspace’s study found that almost half of consumers (45%) prefer to shop in bricks-and-mortar stores because they often fail to find what they’re looking for quickly enough online.

In fact, 34% of shoppers will give up browsing online after just 10 minutes, if they can’t find what they’re looking for.

The study compiled a list of the top online shopping frustrations, including:

1.            Too many irrelevant pop up adverts
2.            Too many options that take too long to narrow down
3.            Search tools and filters make it difficult to find things
4.            The service isn’t as good as it is in stores
5.            It’s not personalised enough for them

The last point is perhaps most poignant; when asked specifically about frustrations shoppers experienced when using search filters and tools online, over a quarter (26%) believe the categories offered by ecommerce sites don’t match their desired criteria.

In terms of marketing campaigns, 37% said marketing emails often get deleted because of their lack of relevance, and one in five shoppers (20%) also find irrelevant pop up adverts frustrating.

"There is no doubt that the internet has made shopping cheaper but this survey shows that retailers are really missing a trick when it comes to converting browsing shoppers to buying customers on their websites,” says Nigel Beighton, VP of Technology at Rackspace.

“We are now in a place where big data and search combined is so powerful that it can take information from both the outside and online world and offer shoppers something truly bespoke to them as an individual. The search function might not seem that significant but actually it holds the key to solving all of these problems.

“Ultimately, a powerful search function can take customer data – their preferences, habits, buying behaviours - and combine it with online and real world information to create a unique and, most importantly, an easy online experience for shoppers.”

The high street appears to be the direct winner of any of ecommerce failings. While nearly half of consumers prefer to shop in bricks-and-mortar stores, 38% also cited finding ‘inspiration’ as the main reason to shop on the high street compared to just one in five who go online. Women are more likely to turn to the high street for shopping inspiration (42 per cent) compared to just 34% of men.

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