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02/25/2022

Survey: E-commerce is full of problems

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Online shoppers report a variety of issues.

A new survey reveals that virtually all online shoppers report at least an occasional issue with their experience.

According to the Coveo 2022 Relevance Report, a survey of 4,000 adult U.S. and U.K. consumers, 91% of respondents encountered at least one problem when shopping online over the past year. Respondents cited issues such as slow websites (35%), not finding what they want (34%), and disorganized site or app navigation (29%).

In addition, only 6% of respondents think online shopping experiences are always relevant. At the same time, 93% of respondents expect the online experience to be at least equal to, if not better than, in-store – a 3% increase from 2021.

Despite 59% of respondents saying they are concerned about how their data is being used by retailers, 51% confirmed they would still be more likely to share personal data with brands they trust. And 40% of respondents said they choose to remain anonymous during online shopping and when using guest checkout.

Gen Z in the spotlight

Specifically examining the difference between Gen Z respondents and other respondents, the survey found some notable discrepancies, including:

  • Gen Z shoppers are more likely than other generations to pay more if they could find products quicker (60% of Gen Z, 52% overall).
  •  Gen Z shoppers are also more likely to pay more if they could discover something new (54% of Gen Z, 44% overall), or if they received tailored recommendations (53% of Gen Z, 44% overall).
  • Gen Z is also the generation least loyal to Amazon. More than half (53%) of Gen Z respondents listed reasons they would veer away from Amazon, including that they don’t trust reviews and prefer other brands.

Other key findings:

  • When asked where they typically start their online shopping journeys, more than half (56%) of respondents cited more than one answer between Amazon, a search engine, and a brand’s site. The other 44% who gave only one answer were divided equally between Amazon and search engines, and only 16% said they start on a brand’s site.
  • Substantial percentages of respondents said they would be willing to pay more if they were offered value-add services that elevate the experience (69%), could find what they’re looking for in just a few clicks (52%), or if they received supporting content that adds value to products (48%).

Retailers who can meet online shopper expectations can gain an edge in a rapidly growing market. E-commerce sales will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in 2022, totaling $1.065 trillion and accounting for 15.9% of total retail sales, according to a forecast by eMarketer’s Insider Intelligence. Average spend per digital buyer will grow at an 11.6% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2025 to reach nearly $7,000.

“Our inaugural Relevance Report found that retailers often fail to meet shoppers’ expectations. One year later, we’re realizing that the relevance challenge remains pervasive,” said Brian McGlynn, GM of commerce at Coveo. “There is a dichotomy in that people want personalization - even though they like to shop anonymously. Coupled with the future of third-party cookies, addressing this is top of mind for many retail executives.”