Brand Perceptions of Customer Pain Points Are Lagging

July 26, 2019

In the past two decades, the shopping experience has changed drastically and, for the most part, consumers are embracing these changes. Indeed, a new survey [download page] from Elastic Path of more than 1,000 consumers and 300 B2C marketing professionals reveals that two-thirds (67%) of consumers say they would switch to a new brand if it offered a more futuristic experience.

The survey also revealed that despite consumers’ enthusiasm toward new shopping technology, with convenience as a driving factor, brands have not caught up with customer expectations. For example, two-thirds (67%) of the consumers surveyed say they are already or likely to use checkout-less payment technology yet only 18% of brands surveyed are offering or very likely to offer this technology.

Additionally, while Feedvisor research has shown that about 7 in 10 retailers agree that voice ordering is an opportunity, fewer than one-quarter (23%) of brands from Elastic Path’s survey say they offer or plan to offer voice commerce. This is despite the fact that 57% of consumers are already using or likely to use this type of technology.

The disconnect between what customers want and brands’ perception of the experience they are providing extends into areas beyond snazzy gadgets. It continues into those pain points that are a frustration to customers when they are shopping both online and in-store and have been plaguing the customer experience even before the influx of new technology.

One such pain point identified by almost 3 in 5 (57%) of consumers are long checkout lines. Somewhat unbelievably, only about one-third (35%) of the brands surveyed believe this to be a customer pain point.

Out-of-stock inventory is another point of frustration for 55% of consumers, though only one-third (32%) of brands identified it as such. As a point of interest, of the respondents who say they have made a purchase on their phone while in-store, 2 out of 5 (39%) say they did so because the item was out-of-stock in-store.

Marketing professionals are recognizing the importance of always-on customer support in all areas of commerce. This understanding of the need for more readily available customer service could explain why the customer frustration with long wait times for customer service (42%) and brands’ acknowledgment (36%) of this issue are more closely aligned than other pain points.

Below are a few more findings in regards to consumers’ attitudes towards technology:

  • Half (53%) of consumers say that privacy concerns act as the top deterrent preventing them from using new technology.
  • In the next 12 months, customers expect brands to offer same-day delivery (75%), curbside pickup (72%), the ability to pay from mobile phones via text (63%), Amazon Alexa support (56%) and the ability to purchase from a smartwatch (50%).
  • Of the 19% of consumers who use voice technology to make purchases, 21% use it weekly while 22% use it multiple times a week.
  • Some consumers say they already or would likely use VR (33%) and AR (42%) to interact with brands, although many think both technologies are overhyped.

The report can be accessed online here.

About the Data: Elastic Path surveyed 1,015 consumers who have shopped online in the past six months and 300 professionals who work in a marketing role for a B2C company that sells products online.

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