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02/22/2021

Survey: Appearance matters to online shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Consumers often judge e-commerce retailers by how their online stores look.

Six in 10 (59%) respondents said an e-commerce website or app that looks sketchy or unsafe is “very annoying” or a “deal-breaker,” according to a  survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who had purchased something online within the past six months from e-commerce software provider Shogun.

A sketchy or unsafe-looking website/app was the top-rated online shopping annoyance by a wide margin. Product out-of-stock/no longer available after click-through from a social ad distantly followed with 43% of respondents saying it is “very annoying” or a “deal-breaker.” 

Other leading online shopping annoyances include a slow-loading website or app (42%), too many emails from retailer/brand (42%), website or app is hard to navigate on mobile devices (41%), having to click through too many pages to purchase (40%), few or low-quality product pictures (39%), website or app requiring an app to purchase (37%), lack of reviews (33%), and pop-up help chatbots (32%).

Respondents also reported more frequently encountering deal-breaker issues when buying directly from a brand’s website or app at higher levels than when buying from a major retailer. Notable discrepancies include the rate at which respondents frequently encounter having a website or app not remember them and their payment/shipping information (34% brand/19% major online retailer), sketchy/unsafe-looking websites and apps (33% brand/14% major online retailer), lack of product reviews (33% brand/16% major online retailer), and difficult mobile navigation (30% brand/13% major online retailer).

The survey further found more than eight in 10 (83%) respondents say they would risk contracting the virus to purchase something in-person rather than online, even when the product is available online and price and quality are equal. Of those who said they would risk their health for the in-person experience, over half (52%) said that touching and examining products in person is what they enjoy and miss the most, followed by walking around and browsing (49%), and trying on clothes (44%). Nearly one in five (18%) respondents said that they enjoy and miss interactions with staff and other shoppers.