Online shoppers get savvy

Glitzy Web sites with inadequate services "like putting lipstick on a pig"

Internet shoppers are becoming increasingly demanding with three quarters refusing to return to sites which have let them down, according to research published Monday.

The survey -- carried out by research firm BMRB -- also reveals that e-shoppers are not as unhappy as the media hype would have us believe, with only 20 percent complaining about service levels in the last 12 months.

The biggest bugbears for e-shoppers are the time it takes to deliver goods and lack of response to emails. Security also remains a huge worry with 66 percent claiming they would buy more goods online if they were less worried about security. Online brands can take heart from the fact that 40 percent of shoppers trust them in the same way they trust bricks and mortar brands.

Steve Leegood, managing director of ECsoft, the e-commerce software provider which commissioned the survey believes the results prove the Internet shopper is evolving. "The early adopter has been transformed into a more sophisticated consumer with more relaxed attitudes towards e-shopping and much higher expectations for online brands to fulfil."

He warns that "glitzy" Web sites are no longer enough for the Net-savvy shopper and that e-tailers must concentrate on providing excellent services. "Otherwise it's just like putting lipstick on a pig," he says.

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