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Study: shoppers think online shopping is “boring”

Compare Metrics, provider of Adaptive Commerce navigation and discovery tools, and the e-tailing group, a consulting firm focused on omni-channel retail, announced they have released results and a complementary White Paper from a joint Shopper Navigation & Discovery Study. The study provides an explicit view of how consumers shop in stores and online, focusing on their likes and dislikes about each channel.

Study participants were asked a series of questions regarding recent experiences looking for and selecting the right products online. When asked about their discovery experiences on top retail sites, shoppers gave a “mixed bag” average rating of 6 out of 10. Somewhat surprising was that 70% of the shoppers expressed wanting to go online to browse and shop for fun, in addition to being able to efficiently find and buy specific products, but that current experiences feel uninspiring and somewhat “old school.”

Other key take-aways from the study include:

  • Shoppers have a “fear of missing out” or FOMO – 73% of shoppers expressed some form of FOMO by having their product view artificially limited. They felt their searches were often misinterpreted and that applied “absolute” filters cut out product options they would have otherwise considered.
  • Too much stuff – 52% of shoppers felt that the majority of current websites have become overwhelming and that 64% of shoppers seek simplicity and a streamlined experience.
  • Burned by search – 70% of shoppers used browse-based navigation tools to discover the right product rather than the search box. When asked why, respondents said it was either because they disliked the navigation tool or they had become conditioned to use the search box for only very specific and limited queries.

“Shoppers hunger for differentiation in product, site experience, store visits and navigation tools that allow them to find products in ways that align with how they think,” said Lauren Freedman, president and founder of the e-tailing group. “I’m excited to bring this new consumer intelligence to the market with Compare Metrics, illuminating some big opportunities for retailers.”

“This joint study with the e-tailing group told us many things, but primarily that today’s online shoppers are just plain bored and that they crave a more inviting and colorful discovery experience. The study also told us that shoppers want a simpler and more relevant site experience, but they also want more control when navigating online,” said Garrett Eastham, CEO, Compare Metrics. “It is critical for retailers to meet modern shoppers’ demands and provide them with a more inspired shopping experience.”

The e-tailing group serves as the multi-channel merchant’s eye, bringing a merchant’s sensibility to evolving the multi-channel shopping experience. A Chicago-based consultancy, they provide practical strategic perspectives and actionable merchandising solutions to merchants selling online as well as to enabling technology firms.

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