E-commerce websites need to treat their visitors better, says survey

A new survey has claimed that whilst consumer purchasing via the internet is growing fast, satisfaction with such e-commerce websites among potential customers has fallen.

The survey, by web analysis organization iPerceptions, canvassed the views of over 170,000 respondents in real time as the latter visited almost 370 internet sales sites.

One of the main discoveries from the survey was that an increasing number of sites have become somewhat overloaded with non-essential task options, making it harder for consumers to navigate their way through.

In the words of president and CEO of iPerceptions, Claude Guay, when referring to the more successful websites:

“By eliminating superfluous information, visitors can easily find what they really want.”

The survey also found that although many website visitors valued the qualities of ‘self service’ and ‘discovery’ above all other website attributes (in other words being able to choose and search easily and unrestrictedly), self service was actually found to be the worst-provided attribute among some of the websites visited.

Overall, the survey identified that satisfaction levels among website visitors during the second quarter of 2011 had dropped year on year, from 73 to 70 on iPerceptions’s own ranking system.

Given that during the same period, sales from e-commerce websites in the US alone rose by an estimated 17.6%, Guay’s advice to website companies to ‘continually evaluate and improve the performance’ of their sites might well be seen as a hint that there is a lot to gain for those who can boast a consumer-friendly website, and an awful lot to lose for those who cannot.

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