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Online shoppers wary about giving out personal info — except when…

More than one billion online shoppers will enter the market during the next 10 years.
Online shoppers want an anonymous, affordable customer experience.

A new survey reveals consumer preferences for their e-commerce experiences.

Consumers are wary of their privacy when making a purchase online, according to the third annual Coveo Ecommerce Relevance Report, a survey of 4,000 shoppers in the U.S. and U.K. Nearly half (48%) said that they have abandoned an online purchase when asked to create an account, and 32% stated they always check out as a guest.

But many respondents are less concerned about privacy when they get something in return — 52% said that they are willing to share data when shopping online if it means they get better deals and offers.

In other preferences, 83% of respondents said they are relying on more affordable sites or buying more private-store-label products. Baby boomers are most likely to be loyal to brands and retailers.

Respondents in the U.K. are less brand loyal and even more likely to buy private products than their U.S. counterparts (42% and 37%, respectively), while younger respondents are more likely to shop at more affordable stores than older generations.

Following are highlights from the survey in other key areas.


More than half of respondents (57%) are also unaware of how much data they share when shopping online, a percentage that stays about the same across generations.

Affordability Issues

More than nine in 10 respondents (93%) expect their online shopping experience to be better than or equal to what they receive while in-store. A similar percentage (91%) said they encounter problems online, with nearly a third citing poor site performance (33%) and lack of findability (32%) as the top issues, followed by missing product information (27%), disorganized navigation (26%), not being mobile-friendly (25%), and too many irrelevant recommendations (24%).

Gen Z respondents are most likely to say they encounter problems with online shopping (96%). Compared to overall respondents, they are 46% more likely to be frustrated by lack of product discovery, nearly 13% more likely to be upset that they can’t discover new products, and 11% more aggravated that the site doesn’t allow filtering.

[Read more: The drivers of Gen Z consumer decisions are…]

Product research

Respondents show a preference for researching products before purchasing, with 79% saying that they conduct research online and on social media. That includes research on a brand’s website, with 37% researching products online and purchasing in-store. However, 22% of respondents said that they don’t know if stock is available at their local store.

"Shoppers expect their online experiences to be equal or better than in-store, yet many brands are not meeting these expectations," said Brian McGlynn, GM of commerce solutions, Coveo. "Consumers also prefer anonymity, which is a challenge for retailers who don't have the trust of their consumers. We found that there are economy-driven generational differences when it comes to brand loyalty and the shift towards private-label products. But building trust is a key differentiator for building loyalty, and a great experience with your brand can still make a positive impact on that trust."

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