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Online Retailers Are Missing the Mark on Customer Preferences, SAP Global Study Indicates

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Three out of four online shoppers worldwide fail to regularly see product recommendations that interest them, according to a global survey sponsored by SAP SE. The findings were part of the SAP Customer Experience organizational unit’s recent Consumer Propensity Study, aimed at gauging consumer attitudes to online shopping experiences. The study surveyed over 20,000 consumers in 24 countries, including AustraliaBrazilChina, the United Kingdom and the United States.

When asked how often suggested recommendations actually interest them while shopping online, only 25 percent answered either “almost all the time” or “half the time.” When broken down by region, only 6 percent of UK shoppers said that they regularly see relevant recommendations, with 14 percent in Japan and 17 percent in the United Statessharing that sentiment.

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“Providing personalized online shopping experiences is now more within reach for brands than ever,” said Chris Hauca, head of Strategy and GTM (Go To Market) for SAP Commerce Cloud. “Yet, there’s a striking gap in what consumers are seeing as they navigate online marketplaces. Brands too often miss the link that bridges consumer behavioral data — complete with context and intent — with the back-end supply chain. Having a 360-degree view of the customer will enable meaningful recommendations and unique shopping experiences — something organizations should have in mind as they enter the holiday shopping season.”

Expenses that fall outside the purchase cost impact the online shopper journey, the study further showed. More than half (52 percent) of respondents said they were willing to abandon their shopping cart if the shipping costs are too high, according to the study. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 55 percent said they were significantly more likely to complete their online purchases if they received a discount or a product promotion deal.

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Additional global insights from the survey include:

  • UK shoppers are the most likely (15 percent) to have never seen a relevant product recommendation online.
  • Korean shoppers are among the most likely to have purchased fashion products online (89 percent), followed closely by China and Germany (both 84 percent).
  • Brazilian shoppers are the most likely (70 percent) to abandon their shopping cart if shipping costs are higher than expected. They are followed by Canadian shoppers (69 percent) and French shoppers (67 percent).
  • UK shoppers most commonly (66 percent) cite “easy exchange or return services” as a major driver of better online shopping experiences. Russian shoppers, however, are more likely (60 percent) to cite comparison tools as a driver of positive online experiences.
  • Over half of Thai shoppers (51 percent) believe that online retailers should have virtual/augmented reality technologies that allow them to see what the product will look like in real life.

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