Online shoppers expect service comparable to in-store experience, research reveals

Australian online businesses that think of their cyber stores as automatic vending machines need to start rethinking how they conduct business over the internet, a new survey has found.

Customers now expect to be able to get help immediately when they need it and will abandon an online transaction if that help isn’t timely.

The survey, conducted by marketing group Loudhouse on behalf of LivePerson, a provider of customer management software, found 87% of shoppers said they need some form of help during an online shopping transaction and 25% of Australian respondents to the survey expect help immediately when requested.

The main reasons for abandoning a purchase include:

  • unexpected costs at 69%
  • lack of information at 59%
  • navigation difficulties at 52%
  • not being able to find answers to questions at 44%.
  • difficulty in getting help on a website at 36%.

Out of the 1000 respondents, 79% said they prioritise getting their issue resolved quickly, and 55% want that done in a single interaction — 62% want a problem resolved within a five-minute timeframe, and 54% would give up immediately or only seek help once.

Dustin Dean, vice president of Asia-Pacific at LivePerson, said Australian online businesses should start offering the same type of service that is offered in more traditional retail stores, which includes investing in Live Chat options where customers can get instant access to staff to help with questions and resolve issues.

“I think you have to offer the richness and the depth of the experience of the storefront — especially given access to information now is just so rapid,” Dean says. “This is not simply about making a one-time purchase. You need to create relationships with customers and create an experience that enhances the shopping.”

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