Online buyers get lost in transaction

5 Nov 2007

Transaction problems experienced by online shoppers leads to more than a third of them abandoning the process mid-purchase, new research reveals.

A new survey by Harris Interactive and commissioned by customer experience management software player Tealeaf finds that despite the increasing maturity of the e-commerce industry, nine out of 10 consumers who have conducted transactions in the past year have experienced problems completing transactions.

Many of these consumers have developed an unforgiving attitude towards online stores with 37pc prepared to abandon the transaction if problems occur.

Consumer intolerance is being exacerbated by poor customer support from contact centres when they try to rectify problems they encounter.

Some 43pc of consumers who encountered problems online contacted call centres and only 47pc felt their issue was dealt with satisfactorily.

Ultimately 40pc of consumers who experienced bad customer support stopped doing business with the company altogether.

“Online businesses must pay attention to their customers’ experiences and help them to succeed or risk losing them and their business entirely,” said Rebecca Ward, chief executive of Tealeaf.

“The only way to understand and pinpoint problems, improve conversion rates and better serve customers is to have visibility into everything that happens on your online channel.”

She said the lack of face-to-face contact is an obvious disadvantage online, but customers must feel as though they are valued and that their issues are understood, processed and ultimately solved.

“Businesses need to pay the same consideration to the experience of each and every online customer, just as they would in a physical shop or via a call centre and to achieve this they require a clear picture of where their websites work and where they fall short.

“Only then will they be able to take steps to improve the service they deliver to their online customers,” said Ward.

By John Kennedy