Study: Consumers don’t enjoy doing their holiday shopping online
Almost everybody shops online during the holidays, but less than half are happy with the experience and it’s a problem that is growing year-over-year, according to a new study.
Sixty percent of shoppers reported being frustrated with the online holiday shopping experience this year, an increase of four percent from last year, according to the annual “Online Shopping Study” released by Pitney Bowes. Dissatisfaction with the online shopping experience has almost doubled from where it was four years ago.
The study also found that the more frequently customers shop online, the more likely they are to be frustrated. Those polled attributed their dissatisfaction to delayed shipping, high shipping costs and inaccurate tracking.
With the rate of online shopping on the rise, retailers and brands may find themselves under increased pressure and operational strain. A truncated holiday selling season could mean more last-minute orders and less breathing room for retailers between Black Friday and Christmas than they usually have.
Nevertheless, the National Retail Federation, Deloitte, AlixPartners and others are forecasting a strong holiday shopping season this year.
This comes after a 2018 holiday season when sales came in below forecasts despite strong national retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target appearing to have performed quite well. Post-holiday reports ascribed last year’s 2.9 percent gain to concerns over tariffs and anxiety over the performance of the stock market.
Failure to meet online shopping needs can result in serious consequences for offending retailers, according to the Pitney Bowes study. After a bad delivery/returns experience, 90 percent of customers will complain across the various channels — online and offline, public and private. One out of three will never shop with the brand in question again. Most dramatically, 86 percent of customers equated a poor post-purchase customer experience to having a root canal.
- Pitney Bowes Online Shopping Study: Consumer Dissatisfaction with Holiday Shopping Experience Doubles to 60% in Four Years – BusinessWire
- Online Shopping Study Infographic – Pitney Bowes
- Will six fewer holiday shopping days matter to retail performance? – RetailWire
- How high will the holiday retail sales ball bounce in 2019? – RetailWire
- Are disappointing holiday sales numbers a harbinger of things to come? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think are the most important factors in shoppers’ relatively poor rating of the online holiday shopping experience? What do retailers and consumer-direct brands need to do to mitigate these concerns?