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Online Shoppers Wary of Online Shopping

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Posted November 25, 2005 By Tim Gray     Feedback

The high holiday season may cause high holiday anxiety.

As online retailers are gearing up for an expected deluge of business this holiday season, shoppers are fretting over making purchases on the Internet, according to a study.

Although predictions for a hot shopping November and December are widespread, a new study suggests nearly 90 percent of those making online purchases, at least some of the time, become frustrated with the process.

And perhaps most disturbing to businesses counting on big holiday numbers to carry them through the year is the fact that more than 80 percent of shoppers polled said they are unwilling to accept lower levels of customer service online than they would offline.

"This next wave of online consumers is far less tolerant than they used to be," Rebecca Ward, chairman and CEO of TeaLeaf Technology, told internetnews.com.

The research team from Harris Interactive, commissioned by TeaLeaf, conducted the study of online shopping, banking, travel and insurance Web site transactions, also found that one in three consumers would move on to a competitor if they experienced a problem.

Some common transaction problems included error messages, a poorly navigable Web site, the inability to complete a transaction due to an endless loop and difficulty logging onto the Web site.

Only 3 percent of online consumers felt Web-page download speed contributed most to a positive customer experience online.

"Today, even the most sophisticated companies are forced to depend on their customers to report online failures versus proactively identifying issues impacting their customers," Ward said. "A single common Web application problem such as an endless loop or a business logic issue, for instance, could cost an e-business thousands if not millions of dollars.

"Online transaction failures can have a huge negative detrimental impact on businesses," Ward continued. Failure to complete a transaction often results in customers abandoning transactions, ultimately costing millions in lost revenue for companies, she added.

"This just goes on to show the lack of confidence a user has while shopping online."

One solution, said Ward, is TeaLeaf's end-to-end process measurement and reporting technology dubbed RealiTea.

RealiTea passively captures what every customer does and sees in real time, enabling immediate detection, analysis and response to issues preventing customers from successfully using online services.

"Too many businesses are unaware where the problem even exists," Ward said.

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