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Survey finds 85% of shoppers had poor online experiences last year

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Online retailers are struggling to meet rising consumer expectations, according to an independent survey by Celigo, an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) provider.

The 2024 Online Retail Trends Report surveyed over 1,500 US and UK consumers about their recent online shopping experiences, as well as preferences, habits and purchasing plans for 2024. Some, 85% of UK shoppers said that online retailers failed to meet their expectations at least once in the past year, citing increased pricing, late deliveries and excessive shipping costs as their primary frustrations.

Inflation and higher prices remained the number one concern for consumers, with almost half (44%) of UK respondents planning to shop less online because they need to tighten their budgets.

“Shoppers expect more from online retailers, demanding free guaranteed on-time shipping and deeper price deals and discounts – or else they will purchase elsewhere,” said Mark Simon, vice president of strategy at Celigo.

“To fulfil these raised expectations, online retailers must improve ecommerce operations, back-office integration and omnichannel selling strategies.”

The report also highlighted a difference in online shopping sentiment across generations. While one-third of Baby Boomers reported flawless online shopping experiences in 2023, Gen Z, which will hold more than a quarter of global income by 2030 and emerge as the most dominant shopping demographic, reported the greatest dissatisfaction with online shopping.

Over half (52%) of Baby Boomers said online retailers were flawless in delivering on their expectations in the past year, while 85% of Gen Z said retailers failed them at least once in the last year. Interestingly, 34% of Baby Boomers said they buy their products in physical retail stores compared to 8% of Gen Z.

While every demographic spends time researching the best product and personalised deal opportunity before making their purchase, the shift from traditional methods is well underway. While UK Baby Boomers and Gen X conduct their research primarily on search engines, marketplaces, and in physical stores, Millennials and Gen Z seek out information on social media in much greater numbers.

The majority (93%) of UK Gen Z respondents said they research products on social media, including 43% turning to TikTok as their primary means of insight. While, 75% of Millennials leverage search engines for product information, but 62% open their preferred social media app before using Google or a marketplace.

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