Holiday Shoppers Unhappy With Online Retail Experience

So far this year, a clear majority of U.S. consumers (60%) are dissatisfied with their holiday shopping experience.

That’s according to the latest online shopping study from Pitney Bowes, which reveals that discontent among holiday shoppers is up four percentage points, year-over-year, and nearly double compared to four years ago.

Even more troubling, the more often consumers shop, the more likely they are to be frustrated, according to the technology company.

In fact, 73% of frequent online shoppers -- those who shop online daily or weekly -- and 74% of millennials said they were disappointed in some aspect of the post-purchase experience, last holiday season.

What’s eating holiday shoppers? Mostly, they report feeling frustrated over delayed shipments, shipping costs and inaccurate tracking.

Speaking to the pain, they feel from poor post-purchase experiences, 86% of consumers likened the feeling to getting a root canal.

These findings come amid significant investments in online shopping experiences by retailers and marketplaces, according to Lila Snyder, executive vice president-president of commerce services at Pitney Bowes.

“Consumers continue to be disappointed, especially around the holidays,” Snyder concedes.

In response, Snyder suggests that retailers and marketplaces shift resources and investments to areas like fast and free shipping, accurate tracking, and free and easy returns.

Given the choice between “free” shipping or “fast” shipping,” 80% of consumers choose “free,” the research showed.

In fact, free shipping was four times more likely to drive consumer loyalty than any other feature a retailer could offer.

As for those retailers getting the post-purchase experience right, Amazon refunds consumers 4.5 times faster than other brands, on average.

Among other good options, 72% of shoppers said they “love” it when a return label is included in the package.

Pitney Bowes’ latest study was based on survey results from more than 8,000 adults, globally, and approximately 3,000 U.S. adults.
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