78% of online shoppers will turn to Amazon if their preferred brand’s website is poor

It is vital for brands to allow consumers to buy directly from their website, according to an e-commerce study from Digital River, which found that 89 per cent of people would visit a brand’s website when shopping online, yet 31 per cent would “change allegiance” to a rival brand if they couldn’t buy an item directly online.

In the survey of 1,000 UK consumers, 78 per cent said they would buy an item from Amazon if they couldn’t get it directly through their preferred brand’s website. Only 22 per cent would go to a retail outlet.

Highlighting consumer willingness to purchase directly from their preferred brands’ transactional sites, the research found that nearly half of all shoppers (49 per cent) expect to pay less when buying directly from a brand.

However, respondents expressed frustrations with brands that offer direct e-commerce at present, but whose sites are awkward, time consuming or inadequate to navigate. Among the brands that get it wrong were Nokia, Diesel and Black and Decker.

“Nokia’s phone prices are always very inflated compared to other sites,” said one respondent.

Another stated that Black and Decker's site “is too busy and difficult to navigate” while Diesel’s seems to be “style over substance”.

For over a quarter (26 per cent) of 18-24 year olds the research phase where they can read online product reviews is an “important” part of their purchase behaviour.

The report suggested that brands looking to harness customer relationships online, must create a connected journey offering clear pricing, comprehensive product information and the ability to shop across devices.

The survey for the ‘Go your own way: How brands can take control of their customer relationship online’ was conducted in June 2014.