A new study from ecommerce software and services provider ATG has looked at the likes, dislikes, common frustrations and spending habits of 6,500 online shoppers across Europe and highlights sharp differences in the preferences, experience and confidence of different nationalities:
- A quarter of Europeans refuse to describe their online shopping experiences as anything more than 'satisfactory'. One in 10 Spanish respondents went so far as to say their experience of ecommerce is 'poor' or 'very poor'.
- One in three (38%) French respondents think comparing products to find deals is the best thing about online shopping. 34 per cent of Germans, on the other hand, like the speed and efficiency of shopping online best. In contrast, one in five Britons prefer reading peer reviews and comments before making a buying decision.
- The biggest annoyance across Europe is a lack of customer service (64%). France and Spain are most put off by difficulties reaching the organisation when they have questions (38%) while 36 per cent of Germans are annoyed with problems at checkout.
- The research also showed that in countries where satisfaction is poor, consumer spend is lower. More than half of those surveyed (53%) said they would not part with more than €50 at a time online, but one in 14 Brits would spend £5,000 or more. However, just one in five French respondents said they would spend over €500.
- Overall, Europeans think the entertainment sector offers the best service (43%) and homewares the least (6%).
Looking just at the results from the UK, the survey found:
- 17% of UK shoppers describe their online shopping experience as satisfactory, unsatisfactory or very poor
- Almost two thirds of UK shoppers (63%) think the entertainment sector offers the best level of service
- Almost one third of UK shoppers (32%) think being able to compare deals is the biggest benefit of online shopping
- 39% of UK shoppers would be prepared to spend more than £1000 at a time online
- Most UK shoppers (29%) find forgetting account log-in information to be the biggest frustration of shopping online
"It's clear the e-tail market in Europe is still finding its feet," comments Frank Lord, vice president for ATG in Europe. "Web shops that consider customer service first by integrating the tools that meet local needs, such as shorter check out sequences in the UK and Germany, and live help in France and Spain, stand to benefit."