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goMoxie Survey Finds Consumer Online Shopping Challenges Threaten Post-COVID Sales Recovery

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Sixty-two percent of e-commerce consumers who struggle abandon the shopping experience

goMoxie, the leading provider of digital guidance solutions, today released a new survey showing that 40% of consumers struggle to complete basic tasks on retail websites—and that most are more likely to abandon the experience or switch to a competitor rather than seek assistance. The findings are especially concerning given the challenges many retailers already face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a critical holiday shopping season approaches, the goMoxie survey signals a need for a more proactive approach to ensure customer success and maximize e-commerce revenue.

The survey was fielded during a time when COVID-19 has driven increased retail activity into online channels. According to eMarketer, in 2020, e-commerce sales will climb by 18% to reach $709.78 billion, representing 14.5% of total U.S. retail sales. While this increased volume suggests expanded opportunities for online retailers, the high levels of struggle and abandonment indicate that many of these businesses are failing to realize their full sales potential.

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“Consumers should not have to struggle to do business online. Unfortunately, many do and they end up leaving,” said goMoxie CEO Rebecca Ward. “We’ve already seen retail customer interaction volumes more than double year-over-year in advance of the peak holiday shopping season. Retailers should be taking steps now to guide every customer to success in order to increase transactions, strengthen satisfaction and make the most of the sales opportunities over the 2020 holiday season and beyond.”

Key findings from the goMoxie survey:

Online shoppers face myriad basic obstacles – including not being able to complete a transaction
The most common forms of struggle come down to easily avoidable failures. Consumers could greatly benefit from retailers guiding them with proactive and relevant information throughout the purchase path. Guide customers when they arrive to the site, through product selection and check out as well as when they return for service and support. When consumers reported struggling online, they encounter the following:

  • 43% of consumers struggled with insufficient, incorrect or confusing information via mobile
  • 43% reported difficulties in site navigation
  • 42% were unable to complete a transaction
  • 36% encountered an error message
  • 22% reported password / login challenges

Consumer struggle costs retailers business
E-commerce websites make support channels available. Unfortunately, shoppers are far more likely to give up and leave—making it essential to take a proactive approach to guidance. When encountering a struggle online:

  • 62% abandoned the shopping experience
  • 52% shopped with a competitor
  • Only 26% contacted customer service

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While phone is slightly preferred, retailers that are looking to keep customers in the digital channel should focus on interacting via email and live chat versus text messaging and chatbots
Some businesses have turned to text messaging and chatbots / virtual assistants, but consumers don’t prefer these means of interaction. When asked which channel they prefer to use when contacting a retailer:

  • 33% chose telephone
  • 26% chose email
  • 25% chose live chat with an agent
  • 13% chose self-service portal
  • 12% chose text / SMS message
  • 8% chose chatbot / virtual assistant

The significant shift to online in such a short period of time presents an opportunity for many retailers
With less than two months to go until the holiday shopping season kicks off in earnest, retailers have limited time to take advantage of these findings and implement digital guidance to reduce customer friction and churn and deliver better business outcomes.

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