Shoppers are generally happy about the state of today’s retail marketplace, but there are signs that their love affair with online retail is beginning to wane—and that’s a serious concern for any retailer that sells in the digital space.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index’s latest report shares that customer satisfaction with the retail industry grew 1.7 percent in 2013. However, satisfaction with online retail plummeted 4.9 percent, receiving its lowest score since 2011.
Dated websites with poor functionality and insufficient product details caused frustration and disappointment among online shoppers last year, driving them to physical stores.
This year, Internet retailers can improve customer satisfaction by solving some of the common issues that plague online shopping experiences.
- Restricted Delivery Options: Consumers expect online retailers to provide a range of delivery options. By offering shoppers flexible delivery options (e.g. buy online/pick-up in-store), online retailers enable consumers to browse, purchase and receive items on their own terms, without relying on a third-party delivery service.
- Disjointed Cross-Channel Experiences: In the omni-channel commerce marketplace, consumers want to the same high quality customer experience across all touchpoints. Online retailers can eliminate the disjointedness that can result from a siloed channel approach with the help of technology. A robust omni-channel commerce platform can optimize the experience for mobile devices and ensure branding, messaging and customer service are fully integrated.
- Lack of Product Information: Consumers crave information and content about the products that are important to them. Product reviews generated by other customers make it easier for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and optimized product content facilitates faster, more accurate product searches for shoppers.
Consumers don’t just want exceptional brick-and-mortar or exceptional online shopping experiences—they want both. In fact, most consumers don’t recognize a distinction and expect to be delighted by a first-rate customer experience regardless of the mix of channels they use during the course of a single shopping event.
Many omni-channel retailers have focused on reshaping the brick-and-mortar space, and the marketplace has responded by expressing its satisfaction with the changes. To maintain that momentum and business growth, retailers need to also focus on the online experience to fully satisfy consumers.
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