Frustrated consumers surf to competitors

Cambridge, UK: Despite the internet being a vital sales channel, UK consumers are still being snubbed by online businesses. Research carried out by eService provider Transversal found that two thirds (66 per cent) of consumers could not find the answers to questions they required to help them make a purchase on websites selling goods and services.

This poor performance is driving consumers away – an overwhelming 94 per cent of those surveyed commonly abandoned transactions due to a lack of information, whilst 66 per cent would go as far as switch to a competitor. Given that the average respondent was spending over £500 per year online, this is a massive loss of revenue for UK businesses.

“With UK online spending predicted to hit £19.6 billion this year , companies need to deliver the same level of service online as they would in a physical shop, or risk losing significant revenue,” said Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal. “These shocking results must act as a wake up call for British businesses. This is the equivalent of staff in a shop turning their backs on customers and ignoring their questions. To be successful they need to improve the experience for consumers on their websites and provide the answers they need, when they need them.”

Furthermore, the easier a site is to search, the more loyal the customer, with 94 per cent more likely to buy from sites that provided answers quickly. To retain customers online the right information must be provided in a timely and user friendly fashion. Almost half (47 per cent) spend less then two minutes searching a site, showing a similar level of impatience to consumers phoning contact centres.

The research surveyed 200 consumers during August and September 2005, asking questions about how easy they found it to get answers to specific questions online and their resulting behaviour. It also queried their online spend and the accuracy of search methods.

Published on: 12:00AM on 2nd November 2005