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Do consumers dislike the online retail experience?

23rd Feb 2015
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The UK is almost in a league of its own when it comes to online shopping – recent statistics from RetailMeNot forecast that the average UK resident will spend £1,174 online this year, a total of £52.25bn across the year, while ONS statistics suggest as many as 75% of the population consider themselves online shoppers.  

However, how happy are the UK public with the ecommerce experience they’re receiving? New research from Dyn suggests just 37% of shoppers think they get the best service and experience from online retail, with 42% citing slow and bad quality websites as the chief reason for their disdain.

Half of those surveyed say that if a site is slow-performing, they would head to a direct competitor to buy a product, and that a slow and bad quality site damages their trust in a brand always or most of the time.

Last December, statistics from PPRO Group suggest that UK retailers may be losing up to 42% of international revenue at payment pages as a result of a poor ecommerce experience.

And while online retail’s main play has always been the associated value it offers, consumers are becoming more demanding. 56% of the 1,000 people Dyn surveyed state they now expect the same level of experience whether online or in-store.

One key concern appears to be ease of use and innovation in the online shopping journey, and 45% of those surveyed cited social media commerce as a particular attraction in enhance the process.   

Paul Heywood, MD EMEA, Dyn believes social commerce provides retailers with another string to their ecommerce bow, stating: “If new ways to shop are hassle-free, secure and fast then consumers will be willing to try them. The introduction of “Buy Now” buttons by Twitter and Facebook are good examples of brands tapping into new technologies to make shopping easier and more instantaneous.”

However, social commerce is just one potential component of a complex ecommerce environment in which consumer expectations are constantly shifting.

A recent Rackspace study found that almost half of consumers (45%) now prefer to shop in bricks-and-mortar stores because ecommerce sites offer too much choice, while Chloe Thomas founder of indiumonline.co.uk and author of the eCommerce MasterPlan also states that poor search functionality on retail sites are adding to poor experience:  

“Many brands don’t realise they have a problem with their on-site search returning horrendous results,” Thomas told Mycustomer.com, last year.

“One of the common ones in the fashion industry is you call your jeans ‘denim’, and so when someone searches for jeans, nothing comes up. Or on a maternity wear website, you don’t use the word ‘maternity’ in any of your product names because why would you, all you sell is maternity wear. But if someone searches on your website for maternity dresses they get no results, because none of your dresses are called ‘maternity dresses’.”

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