One in four suffer e-shopping failures

Some consumers who suffer e-commerce snafus boycott e-tailers' offline ventures as well, report finds
Written by Margaret Kane, Contributor

The longer consumers spend online, the more likely they are to shop online as well. But that doesn't mean they'll shop successfully.

According to a new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, 28 percent of all attempts at online commerce fail, for reasons ranging from technical problems to delivery mix-ups. And, while consumers may be willing to put up with some problems, the mistakes could come back to haunt e-commerce players trying to build their customer base -- 28 percent of shoppers who have problems with a purchase attempt said they would stop shopping online entirely.

Bricks-and-mortar players with shoddy online enterprises could suffer a double-blow -- the survey found that six percent of shoppers who ran into a problem online stopped shopping at that e-tailer's offline store as well. "It's extremely important that clicks-and-mortar retailers recognise that online experience can affect their offline perception," said David Pecaut, senior vice president at BCG.

And while consumers are growing more accustomed to shopping on the Net -- of users who have been connected more than three years, over 60 percent shop online -- they still have concerns. The top concern for 44 percent of the users tracked by BCG was one that e-commerce players have been fighting for some time -- credit card fraud.

However, there is hope. Of the surveyed consumers, 74 percent said they would be reassured about credit card risk if companies agreed to insure them against credit card loss. "In many cases, the guarantee is already there. The vendor's picking up that guarantee and publicising it would be a big plus from the point of view of the consumer," Pecaut said.

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