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Bad Online Shopping Experiences Are Bad For Business

A frustrating online shopping experience can negatively impact consumers' opinion of a business overall, and the spillover can impact brick and mortar stores as well, according to a national consumer web survey.

Negative online shopping experiences can be bad for business, says a national consumer survey.

Allurent Inc., in a recent Web study, said 55 percent of consumers surveyed said a frustrating online shopping experience negatively impacts their overall opinion of that retailer. Nearly 33 percent said they may stop shopping at the retailer's brick and mortar store as well.

The 2005 Holiday Shopping: Online Customer Experience Survey revealed 82 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to return to a site where they had a frustrating shopping experience. As more consumers flock to the Web to make purchases, retailers are putting more at risk.

ComScore Networks on Monday online spending rose 24 percent to $82.3 billion in 2005, excluding travel.

And while consumers increasingly go online to click the buy button to make purchases, retailers that risk delivering pleasant experiences can "significantly" damage their brands.

The survey identifies that problems linked to negative experiences can range from poor-site navigation to glitches in checkout to inadequate browsing capabilities to not enough product details on the merchandise. Shopping cart abandonment remains a problem, too. More than half, 51 percent, of the respondents said they abandoned their online shopping cart even though they intended to buy products on the site. Reasons cited for abandonment include having to click through too many pages to checkout and the process taking too long.

Meanwhile 76 percent of respondents said they were more likely to buy products on a site that are easy to use and offer features, such as product zoom, 360 degree product views, and online videos of the product in context. Many said shopping online is convenient, but not fun. While 81 percent said shopping online this past holiday season was convenient, only 57 percent said it was trouble free and only 29 percent described shopping online as fun.

The survey was conducted via Zoomerang, an online survey services provider, and is based on 775 respondents.

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