Business development · 23 August 2018

UK shoppers reveal top 5 online shopping frustrations

Britain’s ecommerce economy is said to be worth £130bn

“Transaction fee”. “Out of stock”. Although UK consumers have become hooked on ecommerce – 87% bought at least one product online last year – a number of frustrations have begun to affect the shopping experience.

After surveying 1,000 UK consumers and the same number in the United States, blockchain platform Zwoop uncovered the browsing pains most likely to affect user experience and customer satisfaction online.

According to the research, the biggest frustration of UK shoppers was finding the item they wanted was out of stock. Three-quarters of respondents cited availability as a major pain.

Unexpected charges encountered at the checkout followed, with almost half of consumers feeling unfairly hit with hidden costs.

Online shopping frustrations of UK consumers

  1. The item you are looking for is out of stock – 64%
  2. Unexpected charges on top of your purchase – 46%
  3. What you buy is not delivered on time / when expected – 39%
  4. What you want is only available abroad – 34%
  5. It takes a long time to find what you want – 32%

Meanwhile, in the US, unexpected charges ranked as the greatest online shopping frustration.

Online shopping frustrations of US consumers

  1. Unexpected charges on top of your purchase – 53%
  2. The item you are looking for is out of stock – 48%
  3. It takes a long time to find what you want – 47%
  4. The check out process is too time consuming – 44%
  5. You can never find the exact product you are looking for – 41%

Commenting on the findings, Alessandro Gadotti, Zwoop CEO, said ecommerce had evolved to “service the needs of retailers rather than consumers, who are forced to experience pain throughout the buying process”.

“Our research has identified a high level of frustration in the UK and the US,” he added. People struggle to find products that are in stock, unexpected charges are imposed at the end of the buying process, purchases aren’t being delivered when promised and time is wasted trying to find the exact products they want.”

Aside from user experience, one of the most striking things to emerge from the survey was the awareness customers had of their personal data, and how their data was used. Over two-thirds of UK adults said they were uncomfortable with how their data was used by retailers.

Gadotti elaborated on the challenges facing ecommerce businesses.

“While it’s encouraging that consumers are more aware of how their data is being used – probably thanks to the Cambridge Analytica revelations earlier this year – their dissatisfaction is not being met with real change,” he said.

“This research shows that the vast majority of people do not like how their data is being used, yet they are stuck using the same sites regardless. Companies are taking advantage of customers, and there needs to be another option. This is an area in which the use of blockchain – which can transfer control of personal data from the retailer to the individual – holds much promise”.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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