Consumers Rank Their Most Important Features of A Great E-Commerce Site

June 16, 2016

SUMOHeavy-Impt-Elements-of-E-Commerce-Site-June2016The most important aspect of a great e-commerce website is its usability and functionality, according to a survey of more than 1,000 US adults from SUMO Heavy. Responsive site speed is also important, while visual content gets the nod over written content, per the survey’s results.

The findings bring to mind separate research released last year, in which Limelight Networks similarly found that consumers value performance over content in the website experience.

Separately, recently-released survey results from UPS and comScore indicate that the most important elements of an e-commerce site are:

  • The ability to read a peer review (good or bad) before making a purchase (73%);
  • The ease of being able to find, search and sort/filter products on the retailer’s site (70%); and
  • The ability to zoom in on product images (70%).

Interestingly, while the ability to see product images is critical for mobile shoppers, low quality images aren’t a leading reason why respondents to the SUMO Heavy survey say they’d leave an e-commerce site. Instead, broken links or frequent error pages (80.7%) were the top-cited reason to leave a shopping site, perhaps as consumers tend to distrust websites with errors and mistakes.

More than 7 in 10 respondents also said they would leave a site they were shopping on due to slow or unresponsive site speed (73.9%). Data released last year by Radware suggests that among the top 100 e-commerce sites by site visits, more take upwards of 10 seconds to load than take less than 3 seconds (14% and 12%, respectively).

A complicated checkout process also will lead to more than 7 in 10 respondents abandoning the site they’re shopping on, per the SUMO Heavy survey. According to the UPS and comScore study, important options at checkout include:

  • Free returns shipping (73% of online shoppers identifying as important);
  • The provision of estimated delivery date and shipping costs early in the process (63%); and
  • Guaranteed delivery date (48%).

Overall, 92% of online shoppers surveyed by UPS had abandoned an online shopping cart, up from 81% in 2012.

One possible reason for the increase in shopping cart abandonment could be the growth in use of mobile devices for shopping, as these generally have lower conversion rates than desktops.

The SUMO Heavy and UPS studies come to somewhat conflicting conclusions when it comes to satisfaction with mobile shopping. The SUMO survey, for example, found more than 7 in 10 respondents preferring to shop on their desktop or laptop computer, as opposed to a smartphone (15.5%) or tablet (12.9%). And respondents were about three times more likely to describe their desktop and laptop shopping experiences as “great” as to say the same about their tablet or smartphone shopping experiences.

However, in the UPS and comScore survey, 73% of respondents described themselves as being satisfied with their smartphone shopping experience, up from 65% last year.

While the SUMO survey respondents preferred prefer shopping via mobile browser over mobile app by almost a 2:1 margin (63.7% vs. 36.7%), there are some retailer app features that are worth keeping in mind. The UPS study indicates that the top 5 most important retailer app features are:

  • Product reviews (50%);
  • High-quality product images (50%);
  • Product search that provides relevant results (47%);
  • Mobile coupons (47%); and
  • Ability to check store inventory (43%).

About the Data: The SUMO Heavy results are based on a survey of 1,029 US adult online shoppers.

The UPS/comScore data is based on a survey fielded 1/30-2/9/2016 among 5,330 respondents, each of whom make at least 2-3 online purchases in a typical 3-month period.

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