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Shoddy online shopping experiences cost retailers £500 million

20 September 2011 - 10:58 by Graham Miller

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UK retailers are losing out on up to half a billion pounds worth of sales because the online shopping experience via desktop or mobile platforms are just not up to the standards expected by consumers.

This is according to a report published by analysts at Oxford Economics, which suggests that major chains such as Dixons and Phones4U are missing out on large amounts of income because their websites and smartphone apps are not easy enough to use.

Morrisons is having the toughest time as it is apparently failing to latch onto a potential £314 million in online sales because at the moment it does not have any kind of e-commerce outlet for customers to harness.

Of course Morrisons is working hard to create its own web presence but in the meantime it is seeing rivals like Tesco and Asda establish themselves in the market.

Retail expert, Paul-Jervis Heath, told the Guardian that the problem lies not only in a lack of usability but a lack of consistency between the various platforms for safe shopping online.

He pointed out that while many retailers may have a website and a mobile app, the links between these two services may not exist, making it inconvenient for shoppers to buy something on one if they cannot then check up on or amend their order via the other.

This also applies to providing information, because consumers expect to be able to find out about products and services offered by a retailer whether they are on their mobiles or on their laptops. If there is not a unification of such services, customers are put off using either.

The evolution of online shopping is perpetual, pushing forward new initiatives and new ways to shop, but it is clear that retailers still have some way to go before customers will be completely satisfied.