A new report entitled Online Shopper Rage has revealed some significant behavioural trends and attitudes to online shopping as retailers are falling short of expectaions.
The findings of the report show that online shopping experiences are often leaving shoppers frustrated, stressed and even angry. Online retailers are subsequently paying the price through lost transactions and damage to reputation.
The report by Riverbed Technology shows that in a modern omni-channel retail environment, where customers expect seamless experience with a retailer at every interaction, brands cannot afford to neglect their online strategy. In particular, they must strike a balance between investing in innovative customer facing applications or tools and investing in the back-office infrastructure that enables this technology.
Primary research was conducted among online shoppers in three of the largest retail economies in Europe - UK, France and Germany - to understand their habits and frustrations when it comes to online retail shopping.
Results revealed that speed is paramount as almost half of online shoppers (46%) would abandon a purchase with a retailer if the web page loaded too slowly (UK 46%, France 41%, Germany 51%). For 35% of online shoppers in Europe, ten seconds or less is the cut-off point - after that they will give up on the transaction (UK 27%, France 42%, Germany 36%).
70% agree that slow online transactions make them feel anxious about the success of a transaction (UK 76%, France 65%, Germany 70%) and a third agree that online shopping can be more stressful than shopping in store (UK 32%, France 41%, Germany 26%).
"The Online Shopper Rage report helps us to gain a clear understanding of consumer attitudes to e-commerce and how organisations can start to adapt and update their e-commerce procedures and platforms to better meet these consumer expectations. Impatience over slow-loading web pages has reached a point where retailers can no longer ignore the impact," says Kavitha Mariappan, director of product marketing, Stingray Business Unit, at Riverbed.
"Tolerance has steadily evolved into a stronger emotional reaction with shoppers experiencing stress, anxiety and, in some cases, anger. Rather than persisting with slow web pages, customers will opt to abandon their purchase and seek alternatives from other retailers.
"If retailers fail to deliver speed and ease of use, not only do they risk the loss of immediate sales, but also the likelihood of repeat purchases in the future. By creating an online shopping process which is easy, fast, convenient and reliable, retailers remove the frustration experienced by customers and help create a positive online shopping experience for them."
Back office functions, including a website that loads according to the expectations of consumers, are critical as a foundation for customer service, engagement and loyalty. With significant investment being made in sophisticated online tools, promotions and personalisation, it will help e-retailers gain a competitive edge.