The Most Common E-Commerce Customer Complaints, and How to Solve Them
Without a doubt, e-commerce has permanently altered how people shop. Even those who still prefer to shop in-store frequently do preliminary research online by visiting retailers’ websites, comparing item specs, and reading customer reviews.
While online shopping has made more products available to more consumers all over the world, it’s also introduced a host of new problems, which can frustrate customers and lead to lost sales for retailers. Let’s look at some of the most common e-commerce complaints, as well as potential solutions to them.
Complaint No. 1: Complicated Checkout Process
Part of the appeal of shopping online is that it's supposed to be easy. A multipart checkout process negates this benefit and can lead to consumers abandoning their carts.
Solution: Streamline the checkout process as much as possible. Clearly indicate what information is required and try to minimize the amount of optional information you ask for. Make it easy for customers to save their information for future orders.
Complaint No. 2: Frequent Security Breaches
Customers love the ease of saving their data so that it’s auto-populated the next time they order. They don’t love receiving a message that their username, password, credit card number, and other personal details may have been compromised in a security breach.
Solution: Perform a digital risk management assessment on your website and mobile app, and correct any potential security holes found. This process will also reveal whether your brand is in compliance with all relevant data protection and privacy regulations in your jurisdiction. Make your privacy and data protection policy clear and easy to find so customers can feel confident trusting you with their sensitive information.
Complaint No. 3: Difficulties in Getting Customer Service
One benefit of shopping in-store is getting advice and assistance from a sales associate. While most online customers feel pretty confident finding their way around a website and making purchase decisions, occasionally they may encounter a problem or need some additional information before committing to buy. If they discover that customer service is only available during limited hours, or that they have to submit a request and wait for an email response, they may take their business elsewhere.
Solution: The combination of a well-designed FAQs section and deployment of a customer service chatbot can help most shoppers find answers to their questions. Ideally, consumers should still be able to get hold of a human if they have a particularly tricky question, but these automated solutions can handle many customer inquiries. As an added bonus, chatbot analytics can help you determine what information customers are requesting most often.
Complaint No. 4: Errors That Interfere With Browsing and Checking Out
Online shopping offers unparalleled convenience, but in return, customers have come to expect an almost instantaneous experience. As such, if they encounter slow load times, broken links and error messages as they look for and attempt to purchase a product, they will quickly give up. The same customer who is willing to walk into a store, search the shelves, and then ask the associate to “check if there’s any more in the back” is rarely willing to replace the contents of a lost online shopping cart.
Solution: Error monitoring and website session replay can help retailers identify customer pain points, even revealing exactly where in the customer journey people decide to give up.
The True Cost of E-Commerce Issues
According to research by Loyalty One and Verde Group, the impact of dissatisfied customers varies by industry, ranging from a potential loss of 11 percent of business for grocers, up to a loss of 25 percent for mass retailers. Considering the fact that e-commerce was projected to be a $600 billion industry in 2019, retailers would be wise to do whatever they can to keep their piece of the pie intact.
Francesca Pezzoli is director of marketing at Glassbox, a digital customer experience solution.