Many internet retailers risk losing customers and sales by failing to deliver an appropriate level of customer service, according to research released today.
The annual Online Customer Experience survey from online behavioural analysis firm Tealeaf found that 90 per cent of consumers encounter difficulties with online transactions, prompting half of them to abandon the transaction altogether.
Part of the problem lies with firms not offering customers enough options, whether in terms of delivery times or contact points, according to independent customer experience strategist Max Blumberg.
Many firms, especially smaller online traders, are also failing on usability, according to Blumberg, while others need to promote their security credentials more heavily to allay consumer fears.
"The research concluded unequivocally that consumers are concerned about how their data is being used," he said. "If you are doing the right things, but not telling people, it means you are unaware of what the market is afraid of."
Paul Sharrock, technical director at online retailer Dabs.com, argued that usability testing is not enough to improve the consumer experience.
He added that online behavioural analysis tools which can show how customers interact with web sites can provide much needed insight.
"Every site is going to have some drop offs," explained Sharrock. "It's about making sure that as many people as possible get through the shopping experience. "
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