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E-commerce disgruntles European shoppers, survey finds

13 October 2010 - 10:59 by Mike Price

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A new study has suggested that online retailers need to do a little more to improve their services as it was discovered that many consumers in the UK and across Europe are becoming less impressed by the e-commerce tools at their disposal.

Art Technology Group (ATG) commissioned this survey and discovered 45 per cent of consumers will only give their online shopping experience a rating of satisfactory or lower. This is an increase of 20 per cent compared to a similar survey conducted in 2009.

In the UK this number is slightly lower, with a satisfactory rating given by 35 per cent of respondents. This suggests that e-commerce sites are achieving their goals a little better than continental rivals.

Forty per cent of UK consumers said that those retail sites dealing with entertainment currently offer the best experience when buying products online.

The survey found that 55 per cent of consumers will routinely spend more than £50 at a time because they are confident that most mainstream sites offer safe shopping online.

Although sites may need to do more to improve their interfaces, 31 per cent of consumers said that forgetting their usernames and passwords when attempting to log into an e-commerce site was the main roadblock to their satisfaction. This suggests that if retailers want to increase usability and still maintain security they will need to come up with a more inventive way to verify returning customers.

Across Europe 51 per cent of respondents said that the frequent lack of a landline number or dedicated online help service, through which they could speak to a real human being, made safe shopping online a little more frustrating, particularly when a problem is encountered while trying to make a purchase.

ATG's Frank Lord said that customer service offered by online retailers would require revision to ensure that consumers alter their opinions of the e-commerce market.