Only 15% of consumers actually enjoy shopping online


Date: 15 December 2020

New research has revealed that shopping online causes frustration, boredom and even anxiety for many people, suggesting that retailers need to raise their game when it comes to customer experience.

Contentsquare surveyed 4,000 consumers and over 500 marketers across the UK, US, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland to gauge levels of digital happiness.

However, its findings suggest that few consumers (15%) actually enjoy shopping online. The top three causes of customer unhappiness when shopping online are:

  • When a site uses pop-ups and adverts (49%);
  • When a site or app crashes during checkout (48%);
  • When a discount code doesn't work at checkout (45%).

Other elements of online shopping that make people unhappy include when a website or app goes offline (23%), and when a customer can't find what they're looking for (42%). The research shows that for almost a third, online shopping is associated with boredom, frustration and even anxiety.

Jonathan Cherki, ceo at Contentsquare, said: "The end goal of any great digital experience should be to ensure customers leave your app, site or online store happier than when they arrived … Now, as encounters in the physical space become more distanced and remote, brands must endeavour to make more meaningful, emotional connections with their customers."

The need to build positive experiences online is more important than ever, he added, as Google is launching a new ranking algorithm designed to judge web pages based on user experiences. And with 37% of respondents saying they will avoid physical stores in the run-up to Christmas, the report warns that stores can no longer rely on footfall to drive sales.

Meanwhile, a poll of 2,000 UK consumers by LiveArea has found that there are marked regional differences when it comes to attitudes to visiting shops this Christmas. The findings show that shoppers in London are most inclined to visit the high street in December while those in the North East are least likely to visit the shops over the festive season.

The results also show that over a third (38%) of UK shoppers managed to get all or most of their Christmas shopping done online while non-essential stores were shut for the November lockdown. However, well over half (58%) of those who shopped online ran into difficulties. The leading causes of friction while shopping online were delayed deliveries (14%), low stock levels (13%) and difficulties while browsing or thinking of gift ideas (12%).

"It's clear there is still work to be done to ensure retailers' online infrastructure and back-end systems can stand up to surges in online demand," said Elliott Jacobs, EMEA commerce consulting director at LiveArea. "What's more, while those hit hardest with lockdown restrictions are least likely to be visiting the high street this year, many shoppers across the country are still planning to head in-store to finish their Christmas shopping - here, retailers must join the dots between digital and physical to provide seamless and consistent experiences across the entire omnichannel landscape."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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