Online shoppers’ most common regret is…

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Online shoppers often have regrets.

E-commerce retailers can cut back on “buyer’s remorse” by focusing on few key areas of customer experience.

According to a new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll for social shopping platform Slickdeals, 74% of respondents have experienced buyer’s remorse after buying items online. Here’s a look at the most common online shopping regrets among Americans based on the survey:

1. Feeling like the item value is less than expected for the cost: 39%.

2. Used product less frequently than expected: 34%.

3. Spending too much money: 32%.

4. Finding a better brand/version of the product 32%.

5. Having to pay for return shipping 31%.

6. Finding a promo code after the fact 31%.

7. Finding the item on sale after the fact 30%.

8. Missing the return window 28%.

9. Not buying a protection/insurance plan: 26%.

10. Not getting a different color/size: 26%.

Out of these top 10 regrets, online retailers can directly control at least four – payment for return shipping, finding a promo code or item on sale after the fact (with promo/sale matching offers), and missing the return window.

Delivery delays and surprises
Another finding revealed in the survey is a high percentage of respondents who experienced extensive shipping delays when shopping online. The average respondent has experienced five weeks of shipping delays between ordering something online and having it delivered. Some of the common shipping delay causes include:

  • Missing or stolen package: 60%.
  • Backorder delays: 38%.
  • Misplaced items: 38%.
  • Delivered to the wrong location: 36%

In good news for online retailers, 72% of shoppers who have faced shipping delays said they don’t mind it and believe the wait is usually worth it. The shipping delays experienced also revealed another interesting trend, with 63% of respondents completely forgetting they ordered something until it showed up on their doorstep. In fact, 56% of respondents said that they don’t remember what they’ve ordered until opening up the package.

Online shoppers like low prices
Another Slickdeals survey of U.S. consumers, released in July 2021, reveals the extent to which respondents will go to find a good price, and how online retailers can benefit. Respondents to that survey spend 83 hours annually scrolling online for the best sales, saving nearly $10,000 a year. More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents love to hunt for deals just for fun, and 65% believe finding an online sale brings unmatched satisfaction. 

Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they want to share their good deals so others can find great purchases, too. In addition, 58% of respondents feel inclined to tell strangers how much money they saved when complimented on their outfit that they bought on sale. Interestingly, a slightly lower percentage (56%) brag to their friends and family about an online sale they found.

“The convenience of being able to buy almost anything from the comfort of home is hard to beat, but there are some mistakes to avoid,” said Louie Patterson, personal finance manager for Slickdeals. “Always check shipping cost, return policies and fees before ordering. Also, beware of hard-to-find items being sold online for more than manufacturers’ suggested retail price (MSRP). Some sellers take advantage of temporary scarcity by increasing prices for the duration of the shortage.”