Consumers change online shopping behavior

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Many online shoppers are cutting back on purchases.

 Consumers have shifted their approach to e-commerce quite a bit in the past year.

Consumers who shifted to digital in record numbers during the pandemic, are now transacting online less frequently and changing their behavior in a wide variety of ways in light of inflation, according to the 2022 edition of the Digital Experience Consumer Survey from digital intelligence technology provider FullStory,

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of surveyed U.S. consumers report that they have cut back on purchases, and a slight majority (51%) are researching online more carefully before they buy. More than half of respondents (55%) have experienced a digital issue or glitch in the past six months, and 75% are likely to abandon a transaction when they encounter a digital experience issue.

The study finds that a variety of issues continue to plague the digital experience, including:

  • More than 60% of respondents report that they have repeatedly clicked or tapped (rage-clicked) in frustration on a site or app. 
  • Nearly six in 10 (55%) are unlikely to return to a site or app after experiencing a struggle or frustration.
  • The top issues that cause respodents to leave a site or app include: page too slow to load (57%); broken links (47%); buttons don't work (38%); broken forms (38%).
  • A majority of respondents (54%) said they trust a brand less after they experience a digital issue.

Additional study findings include:

  • With back to-school and early holiday shopping ahead, two out three respondents (65%) state they plan to purchase the same or more at retailers in the next three months.
  • 33% of respondents transact online at least once a day in 2022, a decline of 19% from 41% in 2021.
  • In addition to researching more carefully online, more than four in 10 respondents currently use coupons and discount codes (42%), and more than three in 10 switch to lower-priced or discount brands (33%) to combat inflation. 
  • Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) financing is the least popular tactic for combating inflation, with only 13% of consumers opting for it.

[Read more: FTI Consulting: U.S. online retail sales to top $1 trillion in 2022]

"Brands need to support consumers in making more considered purchases–and they have fewer chances to get it right today versus just a few months ago," said Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, chief marketing officer of FullStory. "With market dynamics in flux, digital experience success depends on paying close attention to actual consumer behavior in real time, questioning assumptions, and addressing the unknown unknowns in order to drive engagement and sales."

FullStory conducted an online survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers in June 2022.

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