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Consumers Expect More from Online Outlets

16 August 2019 - 09:47 by Graham Miller

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A study from PFS has shown that Brits are more picky about the sites they use to carry out safe shopping online, only choosing to commit to purchases if they feel that the experience is up to scratch.

Almost two-thirds of respondents to the survey said that if they encountered a sub-par experience when shopping online with a retailer on more than three occasions, they would cease using the site going forwards.

54 per cent of those questioned said that they had had to put up with at least one bad online shopping experience in the past year, suggesting that there are still a lot of improvements to be made across the board.

There are different elements of the online shopping experience which have an impact on customer satisfaction levels, with 75 per cent of consumers saying that they would never make a purchase from a site which did not allow for the return of goods ordered, for example.

51 per cent said that if a site was willing to outlaw the practice of repeatedly returning items ordered online, they would stop using it.

The practice of regularly sending back products because they are unwanted, not fit for purpose or otherwise dissatisfactory is not uncommon, although just five per cent of people return over five orders annually, suggesting that this is only relevant for a tiny section of the population.

Part of the problem facing retailers is that consumers who buy online are not able to physically engage with items they order before they receive them, leading to the higher return rates than would normally be expected in a high street context.

Even if e-commerce sites are eager to drive down returns while enhancing the experience available to customers, there will be a need to balance each of these aspects against one another.