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Wednesday, May. 7, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Study: Brand Erosion Caused By E-Commerce Friction

By Robert Gorell
May 7th, 2008

The new “Ouch Point” survey from the Opinion Research Corporation suggests that U.S. e-commerce websites are still — believe it or not — frustrating shoppers.

As first reported by Direct Magazine, the survey found that…

  • 19% dislike learning an item was back-ordered or out of stock after said item was placed in a shopping cart
  • 14% are frustrated by Web sites that malfunction as payment is being processed
  • 8% are confounded by unclear return policies
  • 6% don’t like unclear shipping information
  • 6% dislike not getting an acknowledgment after an order has been placed

Adding another dimension to these numbers, Jack Loechner at MediaPost explains that:

. . . iCongo, Inc., released the results of a consumer survey conducted by Harris Interactive that reveals [that] 33 percent of online U.S. adults indicated they are more likely to shop online rather than in-person at a store due to the high price of gasoline.

If there were ever a time to optimize your e-commerce website, it’s now.

What else causes friction? Read FutureNow’s 2007 Retail Customer Experience Survey for answers.

. .

Join FutureNow’s Bryan Eisenberg on June 3rd in New York City for the Call to Action seminar. Based on his bestselling book of the same title, Bryan will show you how to improve conversion and brand affinity by reducing friction for the customer.

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Comments (6)

  1. I had to check the date of your post to see whether it was produced around 3 years ago. As you say the key customer issues identified are all common frustrations identified, discussed and supposedly acted upon in the e-commerce industry some years ago.

    On the one hand this is a real head scratcher, but on the other hand it is reports such as this, that highlight the importance of businesses assessing and improving their online shopping sites with ‘users’ as fundamental drivers of the process, that continue to provide significant opportunities in this sector for usability consultants and user centered e-commerce platform providers.

    I wonder whether we will see studies with similar figures in 2010..

  2. Paul, I hope not about 2010. We’ve been recommending improvements to customer experience and conversion rates since 1999 and we sill see the same mistakes being made. I know that the people who read us aren’t stupid. There are organizational impediments plus other urgent priorities (probably less important) that keep the customer (we dislike the term user) from being the top priority.

  3. I agree with the impediments you mention, especially among the larger businesses, and what this does do is open the door for more agile, customer-centric smaller businesses to steal a march on their larger competitors by providing engaging, usable customer experiences which provide a catalyst for driving referrals and adoption of their lesser known brand.

    Although I’m sure you’ve used this line many times since 1999, it really does need to be embraced by businesses sooner rather than later:

    “If there were ever a time to optimize your e-commerce website, it’s now.”

    I couldn’t agree more!

  4. These are issues that many businesses face. To a large degree it is due to not applying the same high-level planning and active management principles that they would give to any other area of their operations. It’s far past time for companies to embrace their web efforts as a major component of their businesses, and not as some separate entity that’s left largely to chance.

  5. this issues are also in europe.

  6. I’m surprised that the ‘frustrated by Web sites that malfunction as payment is being processed’ wasn’t at the top.
    I’ve seen so many check outs that either throws up an error in part of the checkout process or simple doens’t work at all.
    How do these sites make money?! ;-)

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