Almost nine out of ten British web shoppers experience difficulties when purchasing online, while etailers compound these problems with poor customer service, according to a new survey.

The survey of 2,118 UK adults, conducted by Harris Interactive for Tealeaf, found that many (37%) customers were likely to abandon transactions if they experienced problems.

Other highlights from the survey:

Customer service

  • Customer service is clealy an area for improvement – 43% of adults who have transaction problems contact customer service centres but only 47% had their issues resolved.
  • Of those that experienced poor customer service 40% would not buy anything from the company again.
  • 88%  were not prepared to accept lower levels of customer service online than they would receive offline.

Security issues

  • Transaction problems are likely to dent consumer confidence in the security of the e-commerce sites.
  • 32% of respondents felt that security was a big concern for them, and 40% of those who have encountered problems said that this would make them question the company’s ability to keep their information secure.

Tealeaf conducted the same survey on US web users in September, and the results are broadly similar, with nine out of ten US consumers experiencing transaction problems.

US web users seem to be less tolerant than their UK counterparts though – 52% would stop shopping with an etailer after experiencing problems, compared with 40% of UK users.

Related stories:

Why do customers abandon the checkout process?

Related research:

Online Retail User Experience Benchmarks