What Shoppers Want From the Online Experience: 3 Insights

May 25, 2018

Online shoppers enjoy using mobile devices for their e-commerce activities, but a great online shopping experience depends on more than just ease-of-use on mobile devices. That’s according to a report from Namogoo [download page], which surveyed almost 1,400 online shoppers in the US on the factors that make and break the e-commerce experience. Here are 3 quick takeaways from the report.

1. Product Information and Reviews Are Critical

Virtually all shoppers surveyed feel that a great e-commerce site experience depends on clear product images, as 88% of respondents cited this as an element of a top-notch experience. It’s no wonder then that brands are turning to visual content as a differentiator in an age of large online marketplaces.

Along with visuals, most (77%) shoppers also rely on product descriptions as an important element of the e-commerce experience. It’s interesting to see that product images were cited by more shoppers than product descriptions, as previous survey data has also found visual content to be slightly more important to shoppers than written content.

Meanwhile, close to 8 in 10 shoppers reported that product reviews are an important facet of a great e-commerce experience. Research has suggested that reviews are particularly valued by online apparel shoppers, potentially as they help in determining size and fit.

2. Checkout Friction Frustrates Shoppers

Fully three-quarters of shoppers said that an easy checkout process is part of what makes for a great online shopping experience.

But it’s clear that some elements of the checkout experience are roiling shoppers.

Regardless of the device used to shop, respondents said that having to fill out the same information twice is the most frustrating part of the checkout process. Not too surprisingly, this is a bigger issue for mobile than desktop shoppers.

Other frustrating aspects of the checkout process cited by shoppers included the inability to change or modify an order, complicated website navigation, too many form fields, and the back button not going back to the previous page.

3. Shipping Fees Lead to Cart Abandonment

Prices and low-cost or free shopping are the main reasons respondents gave for shopping at a particular online retailer, so it stands to reason that issues with these could also dissuade shoppers from completing a purchase.

Provided with a list of 13 potential reasons for abandoning an online shopping cart and asked to select their top 5, the vast majority (77%) pointed to shipping or other fees being too high as being among their top cart abandonment reasons. Shipping costs have long been associated with cart abandonment, particularly as 65% of e-commerce transactions had free shipping included as of Q4 2017, per comScore.

Beyond shipping costs, other reasons for abandoning an online shopping cart that were cited by a majority of respondents as being within their top 5 were:

  • The website having errors or crashing (61%);
  • Having to create an account (60%); and
  • Payment security concerns (53%).

The report does note that not all is lost with an abandoned cart: fully 84% of shoppers have at some point come back to complete an abandoned transaction. The leading reason for doing so was that the shopper still wanted the items in the cart, while secondary reasons included the website still being the cheapest after a price comparison, and the retailer sending email reminders and promotions.

The full report is available for download here.


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