Online shoppers have high expectations and low patience – report

Online shoppers have high expectations and low patience – report

Online sales may be seeing tepid growth compared to the huge strides they made during lockdowns in the past two years, but overall trends in UK and global e-commerce are accelerating, a new study says.

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ClearSale, a global e-commerce fraud specialist, has released its annual report on trends in UK and international online consumer attitudes and behaviours.

Having spoken to more than 1,000 online shoppers each in the UK, Australia, Canada, the US, and Mexico, based on their e-commerce experiences from March 2020 to March 2021, for the UK, it said the pandemic brought more consumers online.

The conclusion we can draw from this is that it’s likely many of them will continue to shop via the web, which means online shopper numbers are at a level that would have previously been expected to be reached several years in the future.

As many as 9% of UK consumers surveyed did their shopping online for the very first time as a result of the global health crisis, helping to drive up overall shopper numbers both during the pandemic and after. The firm’s release didn’t say as much but it’s also clear that many who’d gone online only occasionally pre-pandemic were forced to do so more often and this would also have got them into the e-shopping habit

The report also showed that there are some marked differences between younger and older shoppers. For instance young consumers in the UK don’t like to pay with credit cards with only 19% of shoppers under the age of 55 having their credit card handy when the shop on.  

And older consumers are turned off by many of the big efforts that retailers are making as far as personalisation is concerned.

In fact only 9% of UK shoppers age 65 and older want to see product suggestions based on their shopping habits, a lower percentage than younger age groups. That’s perhaps due to frustration over the fact that personalisation can often be wide of the mark.

For instance consumers are frequently offered products that they may have already bought or that have only a superficial link to what they’re searching for.

There are some points on which consumers of all ages agree however, and that includes the fact that checkout needs to be simpler. As many as 37% of online shoppers in the UK leave before buying if the checkout process is too complex or even if it’s just time consuming.

And there’s another big issue that will turn them away from a site, and that’s false declines. That’s when a purchase that should have gone through is declined for some reason. A huge 39% of UK consumers said they’ll boycott a merchant if they get a false decline.

ClearSale said that its findings paint a picture of consumers who have elevated expectations and little patience. Different customers of varying age groups may have different priorities but they all want “a great customer experience”.

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