Online retailers are neglecting the customer experience, instead focusing too much on innovation as they ignore the basics – therefore leaving money on the table – according to Future Now’s “2007 Retail Customer Experience Study.”
Future Now sent mystery shoppers and “conversion analysts” to over 300 retail websites to gather information on 69 factors affecting customer experience, such as quality and detail of images, customer reviews, and product copy.
The top-rated site in the study scored a mere 67 out of a possible 100, highlighting the amount of work yet to be done by the retail industry. The average score for all retailers was 43. The average scores of category leaders:
Top 5 overall leaders:
1. SmartBargains.com 67
2. BestBuy.com* 66
3. Compactappliance.com 66
4. BlueNile 65
5. EasternMountainSport 64
Among other findings of the study:
- 24% do not allow customers to enlarge product image.
- 37% offer multiple image views of products.
- 33% offer customer reviews.
- 38% of sites have difficult-to-read fonts.
- 43% offer free shipping.
- 61% do not offer any information on the product page regarding in-stock availability
- 52% of retailers have physical stores, but only 10% of all retailers offer in-store pickup.
- 42% provide shipping cost early in the checkout process.
- 35% have a checkout process with more than 4 steps.