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Ecommerce frustrates UK consumers

News, 08 December 2014

LONDON: Nearly half (45%) of British consumers say they prefer to shop on the high street rather than via the internet because of multiple frustrations stemming from their online experience, according to a new survey.

Over a third (34%) of the 2,000 UK consumers questioned by Rackspace, the cloud computing firm, say they would give up browsing a website after just ten minutes if they can't find what they want. A further 26% will give up after 15 minutes.

Consequently, 45% would switch to another website, 35% say they would abandon their purchase entirely, while nearly a quarter (24%) would seek what they want from a physical store, Business Money reported.

Concerning their specific frustrations, over a quarter (26%) think the categories offered by ecommerce sites don't match their desired criteria, 25% say they aren't specific to their search and a further 20% find they are given just one option.

13% also believe they aren't personalised enough to them as an individual and 10% don't bother with them at all.

Their top frustrations with online shopping include too many irrelevant pop up ads, too many options that take too long to narrow down, search tools and filters that make it difficult to find things, service that isn't as good as it is in stores, and a service that is not personalised enough.

"There is no doubt that the internet has made shopping cheaper but this survey shows that retailers are really missing a trick when it comes to converting browsing shoppers to buying customers on their websites," said Nigel Beighton, vp of technology at Rackspace.

"Retailers are making it too difficult for them to find what they want because of limited and frustrating search filters."

As if to heighten the pressure on UK enterprises, a separate survey found that over a third (35%) of UK consumers now expect a local business to have an online presence, but only 6% believe local shops are very well-equipped for the internet.

This is one of the key findings from Nominet, the internet domain registry, which questioned more than 2,000 adult consumers in 15 major UK cities to coincide with Small Business Saturday.

It found 21% of consumers expect to be able to email or contact a local high street business online and that 17% would consider going to a competitor if a local shop did not have a website.

Data sourced from Business Money, Nominet; additional content by Warc staff