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Allurent's report - online customer experience survey
25
Feb '08
In its third annual "Holiday Shopping: Online Customer Experience Survey," Allurent Inc once again sought to better understand consumer online shopping behavior and attitudes towards online retailers. This year, Allurent worked with the e-tailing group to establish pre- and post-holiday benchmarks that were shared during a webinar on January 29.

The 2007 Holiday Shopping: Online Customer Experience Survey revealed that, while consumers might be buying more online, their expectations are also on the rise. In fact, 67% of consumers said their expectations about the quality of their online shopping experience increased since the 2006 holiday shopping season. Major reasons cited include:
•I know that technology is constantly changing and improving and I expect that online shopping should also be getting better (66%)
•I see that most retailers consistently advertise their websites so I expect to see them invest in making those sites better than they were last year (46%)
•I have high-speed bandwidth and expect to see more online stores better presenting products in a way that takes advantage of my faster Internet speed (41%)
•I am familiar with interactive and visual sites like Google Maps or Facebook and I expect to see more online stores being innovative like these sites (29%)
•It's no surprise that young consumers' expectations are more influenced by Web 2.0 sites like Google Maps and Facebook. Nearly half (48%) of 18-24 year-olds cited these interactive Web experiences as the reason their expectations are rising. Retailers will need to learn how to better target this young group of consumers as their purchasing power becomes more influential.

Negative Online Experiences Damage Brands
Consistent with the results of Allurent's two previous holiday surveys, the results confirmed that consumers do not differentiate between channels. In fact, nearly 40% of consumers revealed that a frustrating online experience would make them less likely to shop at that retailer's physical store.

And 60% reported that when they have a frustrating shopping experience online, it negatively impacts their overall opinion of the retailer/brand. An overwhelming 80% would not return to the site after having a negative online shopping experience, meaning with most customers retailers have one chance to make a great impression.

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