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Nine In Ten Online Shoppers Frustrated: Survey

Around 90% of online users have problems completing Internet transactions, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
About 90 percent of online users have problems completing Internet business transactions, according to a survey released Monday by TeaLeaf Technology.

TeaLeaf commissioned a study of online shopping, banking, travel and insurance Web site transactions. The study, by Harris Interactive, found that one in three consumers would go to a competitor if they experienced a problem. Eighty-two percent said they were unwilling to accept lower levels of customer service online than they would offline.

Error messages were the most common problem encountered (40 percent), and poorly navigable Web sites accounted for 37 percent of the problems. Other common difficulties were the inability to complete a transaction because of an endless loop and difficulty logging onto a Web site.

"Today, even the most sophisticated companies are forced to depend on their customers to report online failures versus proactively identifying issues impacting their customers," TeaLeaf Chairman and CEO Rebecca Ward said in a prepared statement. "A single common Web application problem such as an endless loop or a business logic issue, for instance, could cost an e-business thousands if not millions of dollars."

Only three percent of respondents who reported spending online in the past year said that Web page download speed contributed to a positive experience, while 20 percent cited the ease of completing a transaction. Only security (25 percent) rated higher than ease-of-completion for contributing to satisfaction.

"Any flaw in your Web site, from a transaction failure to a link that doesn't deliver on its promise, costs your business," conversion rate marketing expert and New York Times bestselling author Bryan Eisenberg said in a prepared statement. "Even sophisticated businesses aren't immune to shortsightedness--far too many are unaware of their online problems and the potential they are compromising, and they're at a loss to explain their dismal results. That makes for a lot of disappointment all around."

The study, conducted during three days in October, sampled 1,859 U.S. adults who said they had shopped online in the past year. Results were weighted to represent the total U.S. online adult population and have an estimated error rate of 3.5 percent.