Online shoppers torn between bad service and cheap products

About half of Australian and New Zealand online shoppers will abandon online retail sales providers with poor customer service, a survey has found.

But 52% of Australian respondents indicated they would stay with an online retail sales provider with poor customer service to get access to cheap products; 52% of New Zealand respondents also felt the same way.

In March 2008, 1031 research participants in Australia and NZ were asked about their experience in dealing with companies in the telecommunications, utilities, insurance, online retail, internet service provider (ISP), travel and hospitality, and finance industries.

Prepared by StollzNow Research for RightNow, a provider of on-demand customer relationship management software, the findings are proof that the impact of a poor customer experience can directly affect a company’s bottom line.

“Forty-three percent of Australian respondents indicated they shop online because it’s easy and convenient. This was followed by the ability to compare prices (27%) and because it’s cheaper (19%) – 54% of respondents plan to do more online shopping in the future.”

Faster delivery is not a reason for purchasing online, possibly due to easy access to retail stores in Australia and NZ, the survey found.

Consumers were asked what they found to be the most frustrating aspects of online shopping. Areas for improvement included transparency about delivery charges before reaching the “check out” as well as better information about products and the ability to ask questions during the purchasing process. All of these areas of frustration are solvable with technology readily available today, according to RightNow.

“Today, the success of every business depends on good customer experiences,” said Brett Waters, vice president Asia Pacific south at RightNow. “Consumers are much more attuned to what is, and what isn’t, acceptable behaviour when they interact with organisations and are increasingly prepared to remove their business because of poor experiences. Companies need to wise-up to the correlation between poor customer experiences and churn – if you can’t make it easy and satisfying for people to do business with you, you’ll lose them to someone who does – and quickly.”

Inside Retailing


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