Nearly a third of shoppers in Australia in New Zealand have given up entirely on online buying and are going back to bricks and mortar shops, Rackspace says. The company’s research found customers are gritting their teeth in frustration at poor website performances and heading over to competitor’s sites or into stores instead.
The managed cloud company commissioned independent online market research company PureProfile to research about online shoppers.
More than 1000 online shoppers were surveyed from across Australia and New Zealand.
The survey found online customer loyalty is flimsy when faced with a badly performing website.
Nearly half (45 percent) of online shoppers have abandoned a purchase after becoming frustrated with a website.
Instead, 47 percent have gone to a competitor’s site to buy the same product, while 29 percent have gone back to bricks and mortar shopping.
Common frustrations felt by shoppers were: too many pop-up advertisements (42 percent); the service online doesn’t measure up to in-store (34 percent), and it’s too time consuming to narrow down the options available (28 percent).
Rackspace ANZ director and general manager Angus Dorney says the survey found the average online shopper in Australia and New Zealand will spend 15.5 minutes browsing for an item on an online retail site.
“That’s a massive amount of consumer capture time, as well as spending potential that is being missed by online retailers, simply because of issues on their websites,” Dorney says.
The perks of online shopping are what draw customers in.
Those interviewed said as much, with more than half (54 percent) a fan of the increased variety, while 24 percent used online search tools on websites for inspiration.
However, 42 percent of shoppers said the online search categories provided didn’t match the criteria they wanted to select.
Another 37 percent said some sites they visited only give one search filter option.
Dorney says people shop online for convenience, but are then driven away because the process isn’t quick and easy enough.
“Retailers should apply the same simple old-fashioned customer service values to their online site, as they would to the physical shop front,” Dorney says.
“It should be inviting, easy to navigate and helpful.”
The survey found customers also wanted the online shopping process to be more convenient.
Almost 80 percent of women and 67 percent of men wanted the option of free returns or same day delivery to be available to them.
Over half (57 percent) wanted a simpler checkout service.
It was also found almost a third of men (31 percent) would like to feel more connected and important when they shop online.
As well as this, only one in five people surveyed received personalised marketing emails.
Yet when offered a discount on a retail site, more than two thirds (69 percent) would click through to the email.
Dorney says the key to succeeding online is to make sure the site works from the ground up first.
“Cloud gives retailers unmatched levels of computing power to manage their big data flows and give them real time analytics to refine their search functionality,” he says.
He says a powerful search function can use customer data like preferences, habits and buying behaviour, then combine it with online and ‘real world’ information.
“The result is a personalised, unique and, most importantly an easy experience for online shoppers,” Dorney says.