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Consumers reveal limits of patience with online checkouts

23 September 2013 - 11:32 by Graham Miller

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A new study has looked at the way typical British shoppers engage with the process of completing a purchase online, with most people only prepared to spend five minutes working through ID checks.

If it takes longer to complete, then a transaction may be cancelled and the shopping basked abandoned altogether, according to the Experian survey.

Forty five percent of those questioned in the study said that they had given up on a session of safe shopping online with a particular retailer because of becoming vexed by the security processes which are involved.

About half of this impatient group said that they immediately went to use a competitor's site after encountering time-extending frustrations. A fifth said they called it quits and made no purchase, while a sixth came back to use safe shopping online another day.

Patience seems to be a virtue that is bestowed with age, as the over 70s were found to have the longest tethers, enduring ID checks and security verification processes for longer than their younger counterparts.

Roughly half of respondents said that they felt that e-commerce purchases were becoming more convoluted, taking up more of their time. Although, in reality, it is likely that people are simply subjecting existing platforms to higher standards, given that the entire internet is much faster, thanks to the rollout of superfast broadband in the UK.

Poor broadband speeds, on the other hand, are most likely to frustrate consumers when using e-commerce sites, with three quarters of the respondents who live in rural regions saying that they were dissatisfied with the smoothness of the shopping security process.

Retailers have to find a balance between an approach which is secure and one which allows customers to get through and make a purchase quickly. Perhaps the iPhone 5S' fingerprint scanner could be the answer, or NFC on rival devices.