Rising expectations about online retailers’ product range has become one of the main sources of complaints according to web analytics specialist Qubit.
The London-based firm, which works with a number of travel retailers as well as those in other sectors, conducted its latest Customer Experience Management research.
It found that while price remains the top most complained about aspect of websites, product range has risen to number two in the list, having not featured in a similar study carried out in 2011.
The research also found that website performance metrics like speed, functionality, search and navigation either remain important or have increased in importance.
Qubit said the study indicated that users are becoming less focused on the basics of site functionality and are now looking more broadly at their experience.
The CXM research found:
- The highest new entry in the table is product range at number two in the list of issues. This didn’t feature in 2011, suggesting that users have a higher expectation of web retailers in terms of their product expectations;
- Stock availability, 2011’s third most important issue, only ranks seventh in consumer concerns in 2013, indicating enhanced stock management procedures by retailers are impacting on consumer perception;
- Website speed has risen from tenth to fifth on the list. With the increase in broadband penetration over this period it would seem that users’ expectations of site performance have become more demanding;
- The constants in the table are price, functionality and navigation – basics of online retail. While significant advances have been made in these areas it would seem that these developments have only kept pace with, rather than exceeding, consumer expectations.
Graham Cooke, chief executive of Qubit, said: “Consumer issues with retail websites are diverse and constantly changing but what’s obvious is that online shoppers expectations are rising at least as fast as retailers attempts to address them.
“There have been huge developments in areas like site speed, functionality and search since 2011, but these remain prominent issues for consumers.
“These results clearly show that retailers need to focus on the overall experience for shoppers – you can’t just hope to focus on price or product range, getting it right is about a complete experiential package.”
The research analysed 1.5 million pieces of feedback from the users of over 300 retail websites using Qubit’s Visitor Opinion tool which collects and automatically categorises feedback from website users before they leave a site.
Top 10 complaints for online shoppers – 2011 – 2013
2013 2011 Status Price Price Constant Product Range Product description Riser Size Stock availability Riser Site Functionality Site functionality Constant Website speed Shipping information Riser On Site Search Images Riser Stock Availability Discounts Faller Navigation Navigation Constant Discount/Sale Video Faller Image Website speed Faller