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Seven out of ten would spend more online this Christmas if websites were ‘better’

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Seven out of ten of the UK’s online shoppers will be put off spending online this Christmas by the quality of websites they are browsing, a new study has found.

PEER 1 Hosting questioned 1,000 British adults through an independent survey and found nearly 70% said they would do more of their seasonal spending on the internet if websites were better.

The survey also asked respondents what they did when they decided not to buy online. Some 15% said they would go to the retailer’s shop to buy but 33% said they would go to another website and 11% to a different offline retailer.

So what’s wrong with websites that leads shoppers to abandon – and how could they be ‘better’? Shoppers said they were most likely not to buy because of features including having to create an account to complete a purchase, difficult website navigation, poor product offering or delivery times, and websites that were slow or simply not transactional sites.

Consumers were also asked to name the brands that had lost their online business in the past. Those named most frequently included B&Q, Homebase, Ikea, and TopShop.

Dom Monkhouse, EMEA MD and SVP of customer experience at PEER 1 Hosting, says this shows that brands need to wake up to the reality of how much a bad website can cost them.

“With seasonal shifts like Christmas, as well as days like Mega Monday and Black Friday causing huge demand for retailers, it is vital that retailers are ready to meet the needs of shoppers,” he said. “Retailers that get this wrong online are losing customers who go to rival shops both online and offline.

“This Christmas will see a rise in consumer spending, on multiple devices. It’s paramount for brands to ensure that their ecommerce proposition is not driving shoppers into other retailer’s stores.”

PEER 1 Hosting will be holding a webinar focusing on the issues facing retailers online and how to deal with consumer demand.

• Meanwhile, Royal Mail said it had improved access to its email and SMS delivery notification services in the run up to Christmas. Email or text notification that an item is due for delivery is now a standard, free-of-charge feature of Royal Mail’s Special Delivery Guaranteed service for contract business customers and for its contract Tracked services.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “We are a key partner for online retailers and are committed to providing a range of options to enhance delivery convenience and choice for online shoppers.

“By improving access to email and SMS notification for online retailers, we are helping them to ensure that they give their customers the best possible online shopping experience.”

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