Online retailers are struggling to keep up with consumer expectations according to a study from EPiServer.
The ‘Benchmarking the Digital High Street: UK e-commerce performance index 2012’ report surveyed 1000 consumers to gauge the expectations of online shoppers. Their expectations were then measured against a best practice benchmark assessment of 25 top retailer’s websites to see how they are meeting the expectations of online consumers. The average retailer score was 58 per cent, falling short of 2011’s 63 per cent.
“Our findings highlight areas where even the UK’s top retailers are risking customer loyalty, extra revenue and market share by underestimating consumer expectations,” commented David Bowen, product manager at EPiServer, “many of the problem areas could be fixed easily and at very little cost.”
Despite average scores being down on last year the top five performers achieved an average score of 68 per cent, a 2 per cent improvement on last year, suggesting the biggest players are maintaining their efforts. Amazon topped the poll with a score of 73 per cent and Marks and Spencer’s came a close second with 70 per cent.
Speed of checkout process and communication were found to be the two areas consumers valued the most. Unsurprisingly, the cost of delivery was also a bone of contention with nine out of ten consumers prioritising free delivery options and just one in five of the top retailers assessed by EPiServer offering this.
The retailers were marked across four areas; overall website experience, browsing, buying, and after-sales. Amazon scored evenly across the board with 75 per cent, 76 per cent, 64 per cent and 77 per cent respectively.
Bowen added: “Amazon is a great example of how taking care of every stage can deliver a superior customer experience and this will ultimately support increased conversions and sale values.”