Shoppers' Hit List: What Turns Them On And Off Online

The simple email address: That’s the detail shoppers are most willing to surrender in return for a better shopping experience, according to a poll by Episerver.

But they demand a high degree of personalization. And many are reluctant to share any personal information at all. 

Of over 4,000 people surveyed in the U.S. and Europe, 59% will give up their email address and 53% will reveal their gender in return for a better online experience — i.e., better pricing, faster shipping, more attractive deals.

In addition, 48% will supply their clothing size and 46% will give their age, while 44% will give away their name and 32% their date of birth. 

But a mere 22% will list their favorite brands, 21% their educational level of education and 20% their current location.

When asked what would persuade them to share more personal data in general, 29% say “nothing.” But 26% will pony up some information for greater savings or better offers. 



Yet in contrast to the prevailing belief, only 16% would respond to greater transparency into how data is stored and used, and 13% would be persuaded by knowledge of who has access to it. And in a seeming contradiction, 87% say they are okay with companies knowing more about them.

Of the international sample, 63% shop online once per month, and roughly the same percentage expects to increase their shopping this year. In addition, the study shows that 49% browse weekly on their smartphones, and 29% daily. 

But 32% are disappointed in the level of personalization they get when shopping, and 35% feel companies do not care enough about personalizing the experience.

This can have direct financial consequences. Shoppers will abandon purchases because shipping is too expensive (60%), because they are unable to find what they are looking for (54%), and over price concerns (41%). That’s an opportunity for brands that send automated, triggered emails.

Here’s the real killer, though: 95% say they have passed on making a purchase when confronted with sub-standard content.

What types of content do they want in online channels (including via email)? They respond to:

  • Product specifications — 63%
  • Customer reviews — 55% 
  • Images of products in use (e.g., models wearing or using products) — 41% 
  • Sales information (e.g., phone numbers, store location, hours, etc.) — 34%
  • Images of products not in use — 26%
  • Videos of products in use (e.g., models wearing or using products)—16%
  • Photos from other customers using the products — 15%
  • Social media posts from other customers — 11%
  • Style guides — 11%
  • Videos about the company culture or values — 5% 
  • Celebrity/influencer endorsements — 5%

Episverver surved 4,028 consumers in the U.S., UK, Germany and the Nordics (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway). 


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