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Report urges online retailers to engage with customer emotionally

18 July 2017 - 10:30 by Sarah Collinson

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A survey conducted by Klarna has found that it may be difficult for e-commerce sites to click with younger British consumers unless they pay attention to how different parts of the online shopping journey can generate emotional responses.

Internet Retailing reports that two thirds of Millennials either become anxious or guilty when they get to the checkout while carrying out safe shopping online. In comparison, this is true of just a quarter of people aged over 55.

A fifth of under 35s said that they would be more comfortable with completing a transaction if they were given the option to put off making a payment until a later date, which could change the way that sites operate.

Analysts also looked into the way that people use e-commerce features when buying online, with nine in 10 younger customers usually choosing to add items to their basket to calculate how much their shop might cost without necessarily being any more likely to actually go through with a purchase.

In the past, it has been assumed that any time an item is added to an online basket it is a clear indication that a visitor wants to make a purchase, but the reality unpicked in this study is quite different.

Klarna spokesperson, Luke Griffiths, said that many industry insiders had underestimated the complexity of consumer behaviour when it comes to safe shopping online, especially in terms of the emotional responses which are elicited by certain parts of the process.

He explained that there are some things which retailers can do to improve engagement and increase their chances of making a sale. This includes providing up to the minute information on how many items are left in stock, as well as adding feedback from social networks to product pages, so that consumers can get a second opinion without having to head elsewhere.