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Shopping While Driving, Walking the Dog: Consumers Gets Candid About Their E-Comm Experience

Despite how steadily e-commerce is encroaching on the overall shopping landscape, the online experience still leaves much to be desired for many consumers. Namogoo, a company that helps retailers prevent online journey hijacking, cast a spotlight on the state of e-commerce and consumer behaviors online.

Thanks to the ubiquity and omnipresence of our mobile devices, shopping now happens online at all hours of the day and night—and often while we’re semi-preoccupied with other activities. Blame it the multitasking norm of modern life. It’s not so unusual that 57 percent of consumers responding to the Namogoo survey admitted to shopping while at work (why let business get in the way of a good sale?). Just more than half (51 percent) said they make their household chores more bearable by sneaking in some shopping, too. Snagging a new pair of shoes just made vacuuming that much better.

Apparently, cooking pairs well with shopping too, as nearly one third (31.82%) said they’ve purchased while whipping up something tasty in the kitchen. Just about one-fifth (19.25%) use online shopping to help their commute speed by. One hopes the 6.21% who admitted to shopping while driving are doing so responsibly with hands-free options. And poor pooches: not even Rover can get its owner’s full attention as 5.97% said they even shop while walking the dog.

Given that most of the above are smartphone-enabled shopping activities, it’s little surprise that mobile devices are quickly gaining on desktop PCs and laptops as the computing technology most used in online shopping, trailing just 43 percent to 48 percent, the survey found. Asked how frequently they shop online, most respondents said once monthly (23.25%) but nearly 20 percent are enthusiastic customers who shop two or more times weekly. Close to one-third (32.51%) spend between $101 and $250 online each month.

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Shoppers are drawn to e-commerce sites by the usual motivators such as price (94.17%), low cost or free shipping (90.34%), an appealing product assortment (78.45%), and speedy delivery (75.54%). Despite all the talk about consumer demand for good brand values, the retailer’s ethics or corporate social responsibility efforts were a factor for just 13.04%.

Based on their responses, shoppers aren’t seeking bells and whistles when defining a great online shopping experience. Instead, basics and essentials such as clear product images (87.62%), product reviews (78.14%), and detailed product descriptions (77.30%) are most helpful, survey respondents said. Shoppers also said a great online experience offers a painless checkout (75.61%)—this likely is even more important on small form-factor phones—and is simple to navigate on mobile devices (48.39%).

So if checking out painlessly is important, what constitutes a painful checkout? Nothing ruins online shopping quite like redundant data entry; nearly two-thirds (62.54%) said entering the same information (such as shipping and billing address, which frequently are one and the same) is their biggest pain point. Shoppers don’t like having their time wasted. Other top complaints: back buttons that don’t go to the previous page (35.62%) and checkout pages littered with too many tedious forms to fill out (37.29%).

Plus, a negative checkout experience is among the top reasons (46.02%) shoppers would abandon a purchase, the survey found, though customers most commonly walk away due to price sensitivity over shipping fees deemed too high (77.15%)—you can probably blame Amazon Prime for that.

Other reasons customers fill their online carts but don’t ultimately buy? Many want to skip the hassle of having to create an account (60.28%), while more than half (53.19%) expressed a lack of confidence in the site’s payment security status. When a promo code fails, 46.57% said they won’t follow through with the purchase.

Retailers should note that more than a quarter (27.90%) said they’re just not ready to purchase at that moment and will come back later to buy. While it’s natural to be skeptical about these shoppers, consider that 84.32% of those who admitted to abandoning an online cart did indeed eventually return to complete the transaction, according to the survey. Above all, most did so simply because they really, truly wanted the products they’d left behind (81.10%) but another 44.90% navigated away to compare prices elsewhere and came back satisfied that the original retailer was charging the least.

What’s more, Namogoo’s data shows that email marketing around cart abandonment can yield tangible results in redirecting the shopper’s attention. More than one third (37.81%) of survey respondents completed a transaction after receiving a promotion for the abandoned item, while one quarter purchased when the retailer emailed a reminder about the items left behind.

As can be expected, shoppers told Namogoo they didn’t appreciate distractions like pop-ups and banner ads from competitors appearing on the retailer’s site. More than 77 percent said disruptions like these would tarnish their view of that brand, and nearly two-thirds would be concerned their privacy is being compromised as a result of the out-of-place pop-ups. If annoying ads and pop-ups are all over the retailer’s site, then the customer experience must not be a top priority, the thinking goes for another 62 percent of surveyed shoppers.

Unauthorized ads and pop-ups aren’t just an annoyance in the moment—they can damage the brand-customer relationship for the long-term.

For one, nearly 59 percent of shoppers browsing Store A would click on a pop-up advertising cheaper prices at Store B, according to the survey, and more than 43 percent said they’d come away with the opinion that Store A was overcharging. Even more troubling, among those who clicked on the unauthorized ad, 80 percent would shop at Store B the next time they were in the market—effectively slashing that customer’s lifetime value for Store A. Consumers aren’t clear on how these ads and pop-ups are showing up in the first place; more than 47 percent believe the retailer allows them, while 38 percent think these competitors are somehow finding a way to get their content on the merchant’s site.