What are the problems faced by consumers in ecommerce?

The tragedy of e-commerce can be measured in percentage: 75.8% (almost 8 out of 10) of online shopping carts are abandoned without the purchase being completed. Deficient checkout processes are often singled out as the main cause, but many other problems faced by e-commerce consumers could be behind it.
Slow load times, poor return policies, lack of customer warranties or absurd requirements are among the problems that make online shopping difficult. In the following lines, you will discover these and other bad practices that reduce the commercial performance of online stores, knowing them is the best way to avoid them!

Avoid these 6 problems faced by online consumers

Having an excellent product is no guarantee of excellence, and the best e-commerce know it. The following selection of problems faced by online consumers does not relate to the product, but to the service before, during and after the purchase (after-sale):

Scarce information on the product sheets

It doesn’t matter if an online shoe store has the best moccasins on the market: if your product files contain poorly written text, poor quality images or imprecise specifications, the consumer could back down and visit the competition. Details make all the difference, so it’s important to take care of your product files. Bad practices are just one of the many problems faced by online consumers.

Nonsensical requirements for completing a purchase

Did you know that 3 out of 10 online consumers (34%) abandon their shopping cart when they are forced to create an account? This is just one of many requirements that should not be imposed on first-time customers. Amazon, for example, reports the advantages of registering on its platform, but in no case imposes registration on its customers.

Poor logistics and long delivery times

Another major challenge faced by shoppers while shopping online is logistics. Compared to the physical store collection of traditional retailers, e-commerce must invest in delivery to reduce this disadvantage. However, 23% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts for shipping reasons, proving that they are not doing too well.
Long delivery times are a serious problem for B2C trade, although in business-to-business it can be offset by the price or volume of products. While certain e-commerce offer same day delivery, most remain stuck in deliveries in 2-3 days. Consumers don’t like waiting.
The situation worsens when shipping costs exceed the final price of the shopping cart. There are at least two ways to solve this problem that not all e-commerce practices:

  • Free shipping at a certain price (from 75 dollars or from a certain number of items).
  • Incorporate shipping costs to the price, in addition to taxes, so that customers do not receive an increase in price at the end of their shopping cart.

Slow loading times

Do you like endless queues at supermarkets? They’re as horrible as slow loading times in ecommerce. Amazon estimated in 2012 that every second of loading caused them to lose 1.6 billion dollars, which helps to understand why this platform is so fast today.
Most consumers search for several minutes in a category before selecting one or more products for purchase. If navigation is not smooth, users will end up getting tired and leaving the site, leaving behind an abandoned shopping cart. It is not surprising, then, that this is one of the problems faced by ecommerce consumers.

Insecurity for the consumer

Investment in cybersecurity is growing year on year, due to the increasing number of threats to governments, companies, and businesses internationally. Far from being oblivious to this problem, ecommerce is forced to exercise extreme caution. The processing of purchases requires the sending of sensitive consumer information, which must be protected.
Online customers are increasingly aware of the importance of security, and therefore demand guarantees. Unfortunately, a part of the ecommerces fails in this sense. Sometimes they even violate users’ rights.
In addition to using seals of quality and trust (eKomi, Confianza Online, etc.), it is important that virtual stores use security protocols SSL (Secured Socket Layer and comply with the standards of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), among other measures.

Bad return policies or lack of buyer warranties

The quality of a product cannot be known until the consumer examines it with his hands, which does not present difficulties in traditional retailers. But that is not the case with ecommerces. Most consumers are used to this difficulty and therefore expect to find certain guarantees. Let’s see:

  • The product sheets must contain a link to the return policies. If they are better than the competition, highlighting them can be a great idea (immediate return without commitment, for example). In any case, return policies cannot be imprecise. The customer needs to know what to do if a product does not have the quality he expected.
  • If the worst-case scenario is finally met (the product has poor quality, does not match the image, is defective, etc.), it is important to offer guarantees to the customer: how will you recover your money, who will take care of the recovery of the item, will ecommerce compensate you in any way?

If the ecommerce is not able to satisfactorily answer these questions, probably the purchase decision will never occur. The result will be an abandoned cart at best and a rebound most of the time.
These and other problems faced by online consumers are conspicuous by their absence at Amazon, Walmart and most of the big ecommerces in the market. Entrepreneurs should take note of them, to avoid them from the beginning and thus gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Image credit : Patswerk


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ECN Team
E-Commerce Nation is The 1st B2B Web Media about E-Commerce in Europe. The team of E-Commerce Explorers help businesses to reach new potential market through delivering useful content. Let us know in comment if you enjoyed this content.