Only 1 in 10 shoppers say online products meet expectations

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CX Network

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Customer Experience Strategy

A newly released report shows that only a minority of online shoppers surveyed feel the products they order meet their expectations. This equated to 11% of the research base.

Nearly half of the 22% of consumers who feel products bought online rarely meet expectations will usually or always return items.

Online returns drag down profits for e-retailers and can in-turn force price hikes on product, delivery or service. For some of the UK’s largest retailers, the cost of servicing returns has spiraled to almost £60bn a year.[1]

See also: Stress shopping in the digital age

Customer engagement strategies 

inRiver, who commissioned the research, maintains that misleading or incomplete product specifications create a huge disparity between consumers’ expectations and the actual product.  The majority of the research participants agreed that this information is critical to their buying decisions.

Thor Johnson, CEO, inRiver adds: “Rich, accurate product information alongside ample consumer reviews help products match customers’ expectations. Brands and retailers displaying enriched product information in context with video, images and compelling copy create more realistic impressions in the minds of their customer while reducing returns and downstream costs.”

The research was among 6,088 consumers from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium in September 2018.

For 45% of the base, Amazon was labelled as the go-to source of information for products, pricing and reviews.

Customer journey analytics

The time to convince shoppers to purchase is short. For one third of the base, online retailers have 10 seconds to fill the customer's knowledge gap on a certain product before they move to another website.

Most commonly searched for information

  1. Price comparisons
  2. Reviews
  3. General product specification

Most influential data on purchasing decisions

  1. Information on pricing
  2. Information on availability
  3. Images of product

With little time to waste, the mediums selected by brands to digitally communicate information are critical. Videos illustrating products in various contexts were deemed helpful for purchasing decisions, with YouTube standing as the most trusted platform followed by Facebook. For millennials the impact of influencer marketing was found to have risen slightly.