Driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce sales grew by almost one-quarter last year. And, with e-commerce clearly embedded as a viable shopping option, what makes for a good online shopping experience? Here’s what a survey from Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights reveals.
One of the elements that the majority of the 1,000 adult online buyers surveyed consider to be important – when it comes to delivering a well-designed and functional online shopping experience – is detailed product descriptions (76%). Providing sufficient details about a product might help alleviate, at least in part, the inability to physically experience products, which is one of the drawbacks of online shopping voiced in other research.
Ample product images (61%) represent another important element of a well-designed online shopping experience. This is backed up by previous research that shows consumers’ preference for visual information over textual information when they are shopping online. Additionally, shoppers think it’s important to have robust product reviews, including user-submitted photos and keyword-searchable review content (41%).
Unfortunately, some online retailers are falling short in these areas. Along with unclear shipping costs prior to checking out (36%), two other top frustrations consumers have experienced on retailer websites include not enough images to see what the product looks like or how it works (35%) and product description text not providing enough information (33%).
While retailer websites have room for improvement in some areas, they appear to be doing well in others. A majority (73%) of respondents say that the sites they have shopped at this year have met or exceeded expectations when it comes to fast, easy checkout processes. Others have been happy with being able to quickly find products through search tools such as the search box or search filters (59%), as well as their ability to see if a product is in stock (55%).
Shoppers rate their satisfaction with the overall retail website experience (including design and site) highest with desktop, while fewer give top ratings to the experience via mobile website or mobile app. And, when it comes to personalization, consumers expect or want online retailers to allow for quick access to recently reviewed products (59%), to store and update account information along with past order history (55%) and to allow for opting out of personalization if consumers don’t want to be tracked (52%).
Finally, as far as customer service is concerned, timely issue resolution (48%; top-3 choices), high-quality customer service (47%) and the ability to quickly find contact information (36%) rank as most important to consumers’ online buying experience.
Find the full report here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,000 adult online buyers.