Customers expressed greater satisfaction with shopping on desktop than on mobile websites or apps. "Mobile still has catching up to do," said Lauren Freedman, senior consumer insights analyst at Digital Commerce 360, a Chicago-based research and media firm that released the report Monday along with Los Angeles-based customer analytics company Bizrate Insights. The report, which is based on a September survey of 1,000 online shoppers, recommends companies brush up on their mobile UX design.
Detailed product descriptions were the most commonly cited feature for a functional online shopping experience, with 76 percent of respondents saying they are important. As for personalization options, the greatest number of customers (59 percent) mentioned quick access to recently viewed products.
Efficiency also is vital. Nearly three-quarters of the group pointed to a "fast, easy checkout process" as an aspect of online shopping that exceeded their expectations this year. Next on the list was "quickly finding products via search tools," at 59 percent.
Survey participants picked ambiguous shipping costs (36 percent), lack of pictures of products (35 percent), and lackluster product descriptions (33 percent) as frustrations they had experienced in the past six months with e-commerce sites.
The survey also touched on supply chain and inventory issues. In light of those challenges, the most customers said they would prefer sellers to clearly identify out-of-stock products (68 percent) and let customers know if deliveries will be delayed (64 percent).
It could make for a tough couple of months for sellers. "We will watch to see if retailers are up to the task as we grade their actions over the all-important holiday season," Freedman said, recommending companies focus on quality customer service to best their competitors during the holidays.