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The convenience and better price typically available from online retailers explains why the number of online shoppers in the UK has reached saturation; eMarketer estimates 98.8% of internet users in the country will shop via digital channels in 2013. However, there is a significant gap between the percentage of online shoppers and those actually buying. Real-world considerations, such as delivery costs, remain a problem for a significant minority.
A survey by LivePerson found that 77% of UK consumers had abandoned their online shopping carts due to unexpected delivery costs. The UK tied with Germany as the two countries among the six surveyed where the greatest proportion of consumers cited this reason for online cart abandonment.
Three out of five UK consumers also said lack of product or service information had caused them to give up on making an online purchase. Only consumers in Germany had more problems with this aspect of online buying. In addition, nearly half of UK consumers found the inability to ask a question problematic—again the greatest proportion of any of the nations surveyed.
The ease of navigating these issues on desktop may be one reason why mobile shoppers in the UK still overwhelmingly preferred to shop on their home computer (87%), followed by their work computer or smartphone (12% each).
While there is much evidence to support the growth of mobile and tablet shopping, the majority of sales still occur at home and on the desktop. Even as online sales continue their unabated rise in the country, online retailers should bear in mind the areas in which they are falling short of consumer expectations.
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