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Research in the US has revealed the extent to which frustrated online shoppers hold grudges against online retailers and their physical counterparts.

The research, by US internet performance tracking company Gomez, reveals that 65% of online shoppers would stop or reconsider shopping at a company’s physical store if they had a poor online experience.

This research follows a recent Consumer Electronics Association report which showed the influence of the internet on offline sales. This report showed that 77% of electronics purchases in retail outlets were researched online beforehand.

While nine out of ten people surveyed said they planned to do the majority of their Christmas shopping online, nearly half have frequent problems completing online purchases and almost all felt that websites frequently loaded too slowly.

Some retailers are throwing money away by not dealing with website problems, 87% of customers will shop elsewhere after one to three unsuccessful attempts to complete a purchase online. 

The survey revealed that half of online shoppers had been unable to complete their online purchases on one or more occasions. 37% would stop shopping altogether at a website if they experienced checkout problems.

Gomez Inc spokesman William Agush believes online retailers need to raise their game:

"The correlation between an unsatisfactory online experience and potential revenue loss has never been stronger."

“What we've learned is that online shoppers have high expectations for their online experience and a low tolerance for downtime, inconsistency, and slowdowns."

"These shoppers are quick to assign blame for poor web performance to the retailer. They have money to spend, and if their retailer's web site does not deliver, they are quick to take their money elsewhere.”

The Gomez report is further evidence of the strong link between online and offline, and shows that a poor online performance can have a detrimental effect on offline sales, as customers punish retailers' offline counterparts for poor online experiences.

Further Reading:
Gomez Online Shopping Experience Report

Graham Charlton

Published 6 November, 2006 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (1)


André Serranho

My only surprise it that it is *only* 65% acting this way.
People value their experiences, and it is only natural that this happens.
A brand is a brand is a brand, no matter in what form it shows itself.

This illustrates the point that I have been talking about in my speeches: the importance of a consistent marketing, not only across audiences (internal and external), but across channels--especially when the audiences are the same.

This is just the beginning: soon enough (next year), marketing departments will make no difference whatsoever between "physical shoppers" and "online shoppers", because they are one and the same (the same applies to "mobile" and "internet" shoppers).

over 9 years ago

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