Bad Online Shopping Experiences Lead to Decreased In-Store Sales

November 13, 2015

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming soon. Here's a look into how consumers say they will shop this holiday season.

Surprisingly or not, poor online shopping experiences negatively impact in-store sales; the latest LoyaltyOne consumer research survey tells US retailers that customer service mistakes made with Cyber Monday online could lead to in-store sales losses.

LoyaltyOne’s October 2015 nationwide survey of 1,019 American consumers found that 78 percent of survey respondents said they plan to make Cyber Monday purchases. In the youngest end of the millennial demographic, 18-24 year-olds, the rate of Cyber Monday shoppers skyrocketed to 93 percent. 

And if retailers think all shoppers will be lining up outside their doors to put in more effort to grab gifts and deals, they are wrong. Eighty eight percent of survey takers said they disagree or strongly disagree with the sentiment that gifts bought online are NOT as heartfelt and sincere as gifts bought in a physical store.

That’s not to discredit the importance of helpful sales staff. Eighty-three percent of consumers said they agree or strongly agree with the statement, “I think a salesperson who is exceptional can give a store an advantage.”

What are some of the critical pieces to making the online experience memorable? It doesn’t take much: free shipping and easy returns as well as being able to use rewards cards or coupons online, having the same specials and sales as in the store, and being able to use preferred credit card or payment type.

The survey also found that well over half of consumers said that if a retailer couldn’t guarantee the delivery date of an online purchase, they’d cancel the order and place the buy with an online competitor.

Additionally, drone delivery is slow to take off, with 22 percent saying they would choose drone delivery if it was available, to get an online purchase faster, versus 55 percent who said they’d be more comfortable with traditional shipping methods, and the balance who said they had no shipment method preference 

If your store hasn’t planned streamlined online and in-store promotions, now is the time. In addition, with the few weeks until Cyber Monday, having a look through your brand’s website to spot any easy fixes would certainly be prudent. Brand strength, distribution, service, and customer experience will all help you win this holiday season. But the truth is success during the holidays requires year-round dedication to management and marketing, rather than a once-a-year sales gimmick.