Online sales held back by lack of trust and reliability, report reveals

In Industry Comment, Industry News On

Retailers need to do more to demonstrate their reliability and trustworthiness if they want to encourage more shoppers to spend larger amounts online, according to new research.

A new report of 1,000 UK consumers, conducted by e-commerce agency PushON, found that customers would feel more reassured to part with large sums of cash on the web if they trusted the retailer and knew exactly what they were getting for their money.

68% would be more inclined to spend larger amounts online if retailers could reassure them that they would receive the same quality of service online as they do in store, for instance, by offering next or same day delivery, in depth product information and accurate images or realistic videos of the product.

At the moment, 47% of people only feel comfortable researching products online to help make a decision, but would then go in store to buy because they feel they can make a better, informed choice and have the option of asking for help from retail assistants.

Yet, for those shoppers who have bought considered purchases online, few have come across any problems. Two thirds (67%) have never experienced any issues when buying on the internet, proving that online shopping is actually more reliable than people seem to think.

In fact, online shoppers claim there are lots of advantages to making purchases over the web. Two thirds (67%) of those who prefer to buy online believe it is much quicker and easier than buying in store, and over half (57%) think purchasing online is a great way to properly research a range of options, without having to take the time to travel to lots of different stores.

45% like that they can select a delivery time that fits in with their busy lifestyle when buying online, which also removes the hassle of transporting goods home from the store. A quarter (24%) also like the fact that you can immediately find out what products are in stock and what’s not when shopping online.

PushON managing director Sam Rutley commented: “It’s clear that there are a wealth of advantages when shopping online, compared to in store – but the challenge for retailers is making these propositions clear to shoppers to break the barriers that are stopping people from making higher value purchases on the internet.

“Encouraging more shoppers to part with larger amounts of money online requires a huge focus on building trust and a strong brand reputation. Consumers will feel more reassured if they know exactly what they’re getting from the retailer and that they’re reliable. It’s about creating the same experience, regardless of if the purchase is made online or in store – customers should always receive the same great level and quality of service.

“Retailers also need to be highlighting the benefits of shopping via their online sites – they need to raise awareness about their fast delivery times, the ability to skip the queues, and the time it can save consumers. Customers could also be persuaded to buy online if retailers add to these benefits, perhaps by offering rewards or incentives like interest-free credit or online-only offers. This is also another effective way to build trust and encourage repeat custom.”

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