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Survey: Difficulty finding products drives away online shoppers

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Nearly three-quarters of surveyed consumers say their reason for abandoning an e-commerce site is difficulty in finding the products they are seeking.

According to a new survey of 1,500 U.S. and U.K. consumers from AI-based personalization technology provider Qubit, challenges with finding desired products was reported to be thnumber one reason why both U.S. and U.K. shoppers abandon a site without making a purchase (73% of respondents).

In addition, poor navigation was selected by 61% of respondents as a top reason for bouncing or abandoning a site; while 6% of respondents reported looking for products page by page. According to Qubit analysis, 6% is a surprisingly high figure for the inefficient manner of discovering products via page-by-page search, with retailers typically having only a couple of page views to grab and maintain a shopper’s attention.

Shipping and return policies (54.5%) and lack of reviews (52%) were also high on the list of reasons why shoppers leave the brand’s site or abandon a purchase.

While 34.5% of U.S. and U.K. respondents (41.5% for U.S. respondents only) said they expect recommended products to be tailored to them specifically while shopping online, 37% said that product recommendations are rarely tailored to them.

The survey also found that mobile shopping appears to be more popular with U.S. respondents than in the U.K., with 41% of U.S. consumers reporting their preference to shop by smartphones, compared to only 30% of respondents in the U.K. Qubit advises that mobile e-commerce will only continue to grow globally in the coming years, as social media and mobile devices make not only browsing, but also buying via mobile, effortless.

In August 2021, Qubit released data showing that online retailers can look forward to elevated shopping levels, even as stores reopen. According to that data, nearly 86% of consumers plan to continue shopping at the same level or more online, despite stores reopening, with nearly one-third of shoppers expecting to purchase even more online during the upcoming holiday season as compared to the 2020 peak period.

Not only were 54.5% of U.S. and U.K. consumers surveyed at that time planning to shop online as much as they did during the last peak period, but 28% including (32% in the U.S.) of respondents expected to shop more online than during the 2020 holidays. However, customer experience challenges remain, as 88% of respondents said they are faced with an overwhelming amount of product choices some, always or most of the time.

[Read more: Survey: E-commerce surge will continue through holidays and beyond]

“Consumers are increasingly relying on e-commerce for their shopping needs and are doing so in greater volumes and with more resolve than ever before,” said Tracey Ryan O’Connor, chief revenue officer at Qubit. “The shift towards online shopping, which experienced unprecedented growth due to the pandemic, is showing signs of longevity. This underscores the urgency for brands to improve the online shopping experience that they’re delivering based on customer feedback and industry best practices.”

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