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Consumers complain of online shopping stress

19 December 2017 - 09:15 by Simon Crisp

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Although safe shopping online is often portrayed as the hassle-free alternative to visiting high streets during the Christmas crush, a new study suggests that not everyone is entirely relaxed when making e-commerce purchases.

Twenty seven per cent of people questioned in a survey from Clicktale said that the prospect of having to search for festive gifts via the web was just as stress-inducing as heading to bricks and mortar outlets, with a key complaint being that sites were often convoluted and confusing.

Interestingly, there is a slight gender divide on this issue, with women marginally more likely to be vexed by safe shopping online than men. And when both e-commerce and high street Christmas shopping are taken together, the same holds true.

Report spokesperson, Geoff Galat, said that a sizeable minority of consumers still get stressed out by Christmas shopping online, in spite of not having to brave the crowds at real world outlets. This suggests that retailers are falling short of their responsibilities to improve customer experiences.

He also argued that this means more needs to be done to blend online and in-store shopping, optimising for the omnichannel nature of modern retail in which consumers are not bound by traditional platform distinctions.

One way of working out which elements of an e-commerce site are frustrating shoppers is to assess where on a page the most clicks are being registered and how frequently interactive elements are being clicked. Galat explained that this could pinpoint portions of the interface that are causing upset among visitors, allowing for adjustments to be made.

The offshoot of this will be that retailers are better able to convert site visitors into paying customers, because relaxed shoppers are more likely to make a purchase than those experiencing high levels of stress.