45% of consumers choose high street over 'frustrating' online shopping experience, finds study

Nearly half (45 per cent) of UK consumers have said the frustrations of online shopping have driven them to shop on the high street, according to research from Rackspace.

The major gripe for consumers was irrelevant pop up adverts, however excessive search results that take too long to narrow down came a close second.

Over a third (34 per cent) of the 2,000 consumers surveyed said they will give up browsing a website after 10 minutes if they can’t find what they want and a further 26 per cent will give up after 15 minutes.

Asked specifically about what frustrated them, over a quarter (26 per cent) stated the categories offered by e-commerce sites don’t match their desired criteria, 25 per cent think that they aren’t specific to their search and a further 20 per cent complain they are given just one option.

Nigel Beighton, vice president of technology at Rackspace said big data has taken retailers to a place where they can harness information from on and offline to give shoppers a tailored experience – but the role of the search function has been overlooked.

“Cloud has given retailers unmatched levels of computing power necessary to manage their big data and give them real time analysis so they can refine their search functionality. Ultimately, a powerful search function can take customer data – their preferences, habits, buying behaviours - and combine it with online and real world information to create a unique and, most importantly, an easy online experience for shoppers,” he said.

Beighton added the biggest opportunity is for smaller online retailers that can’t compete on price with bigger brands.

“Using search that isn’t limed by restricted criteria and a few descriptive words would move them away from trying to challenge competitors on just price alone,” he explained.

Additionally, 13 per cent or those surveyed said that retailers aren’t personalising their websites and communications enough; with 37 per cent sending ‘irrelevant’ marketing emails straight into the bin.

Online retailers are also failing to inspire consumers in the same way their bricks and mortar counterparts do. Over a third (38 per cent) said finding ‘inspiration’ as the main reason to shop on the high street compared to just one in five (21 per cent) who go online.

Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is Brands Editor at The Drum. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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