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Consumers prefer online shopping to high street outings

12 March 2015 - 10:46 by Mike Price

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A survey conducted by Rackspace has revealed that the majority of British consumers prefer to carry out safe shopping online rather than heading to the high street, although e-commerce has only just taken a slim lead over bricks and mortar retail, according to IT Pro Portal.

The study also looked at the aspects of online shopping that are frustrating for consumers, with around a third of them saying they will give up on an e-commerce session if they cannot find the products and services they are seeking within the first 10 minutes.

People also complained about the number of popup advertisements they encounter when indulging in shopping online, with this kind of intrusive promotional feature being seen as a real bugbear.

The people questioned in the study were also asked about their experiences with e-commerce site search functionality. A quarter complained that categories offered to them are not descriptive enough, while a fifth said that sites often prevented them from selecting more than one category to search at the same time.

There are often complaints about the way that online shops operate in terms of their interface and features, but things have improved dramatically over the past decade and it is now much easier to both find the items you are looking for and make payment for them.

Report spokesperson, Nigel Beighton, said that retailers could still do more to entice e-commerce users to convert from casual browsers into paying customers. And he argues that addressing the inadequacy of some search functions could be the quickest way to achieve this.

For consumers, things like the cost, speed and convenience of delivery options will also come into play. But retailers need to get the sites right to even get people to this stage.