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Female shoppers left disappointed by online shopping experience

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Women in the UK are feeling increasingly disappointed by mobile and online shopping experiences finding them difficult to navigate, not intuitive enough and poorly designed for smartphone browsing, according to a new study by Engine.

The research, which explored the mindset of the ’21st Century women’ to understand how brands can better engage, interviewed women in the UK about how they live and shop and what they desire from a shopping experience. It finds that lady shoppers are increasingly relying on mobile devices to access brands and services, with 98% of UK women having shopped online and 92% using the gadget to browse.  

However, the stark reality is that many are left disappointed by the digital shopping experience.

Some 58% of UK female shoppers say that that too many websites have poor navigation, with 44% admitting that mobile sites “don’t do enough”. More than half (53%) demand them to be more intuitive. The result is that, while 88% of women visit brands’ websites at least once a day, only 5% of them buy anything.

The study also highlights the missed opportunity for retailers to engage this highly influential market, as they are failing to connect with women emotionally and commercially and urges brands not to underestimate the value women continue to place on the in-store experience.

In fact, 54% of UK female shoppers are influenced by brick-and-mortar store aesthetics, such as a clothes collection, while 26% report that they use their smartphones to research items in a store. 13% of women participants actually use their phone to make a purchase while in store, indicating that brands would benefit from joining up the in-store and online experiences.

“This year’s 21st Century Woman study provides valuable new insight into the mindset and lifestyles of independent, modern women – the world’s largest single group of consumers. This group is the most well-educated, employed and commercially influential group in history,” says Erminia Blackden, the head of the strategy at partners Andrews Aldridge at Engine UK.

“These women are spending and browsing more on their smartphones than ever before, so if brands want to capitalise on their enormous spending potential, getting the online experience right should be a prerequisite. Some brands are winning at this already – the likes of ASOS and Amazon, for example. But the stark reality is that many are still failing to hit the right note. And in this challenging and fiercely competitive retail market, that’s a dangerous position to be in.”

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