UK Shoppers have the lowest tolerance for bad e-commerce experiences compared to consumers globally, according to new study

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More than one third of UK shoppers say they have a higher likelihood than the global average to find a different site when encountering checkout frustrations or barriers, according to new consumer research by e-commerce technology company Rokt and Harris Poll.

The study, designed to understand the changing expectations of today’s consumers, found that, overall, UK consumers had the lowest tolerance for bad ecommerce experiences compared to shoppers globally. 

“Brands and retailers across categories are scrambling to identify how they can best use AI to elevate their ecommerce customer experience and drive revenue,” said Elizabeth Buchanan, Chief Commercial Officer at Rokt. 

“This research provides decision makers with a roadmap for creating new strategies and implementing advanced tech, such as AI, to significantly help improve the online shopping experience in ways that will surprise and delight shoppers.” 

Key Findings

Relevant experiences key to driving loyalty with UK shoppers

An impressive 67% of UK shoppers surveyed expressed the need for relevant offers during the checkout process, which is 10% higher than the global average. This demographic prefers a relevant and focused online shopping experience—with 68% stating that they are more likely to make a purchase when it is relevant—compared to being offered irrelevant products that ‘may be of interest.’  

Moreover, a brand’s website showing relevant offers and products pays off symbiotically in the form of customer loyalty. In the UK, 52% of consumers express a desire for increased availability of loyalty programs, compared to a global figure of 42% showing that Brits like to be rewarded for their commitment to brands

UK shoppers least forgiving when encountering ecommerce friction

British shoppers reported being less forgiving when it comes to encountering an annoying online shopping experience. Over one third (34%) of UK shoppers exhibited a higher likelihood than the global average (29%) to find a different site when encountering checkout frustrations or barriers, showing the potential loss of sale for many brands that get it wrong. 

Forty-five percent of UK shoppers surveyed want to see an easy checkout process, as opposed to 36% worldwide, showing that Brits are looking for a seamless transactional experience more than other countries. In addition to this, 39% of UK consumers reported being annoyed by an excess of ads, which was slightly above the global average of 34%.

British online shoppers highlighted that having to manually input payment information was a source of frustration, with nearly a quarter (26%) of UK shoppers finding it bothersome compared to a fifth (20%) globally. With many shopping sites and web browsers offering this service, the expectancy for this function is greatly increasing. 

How AI will improve ecommerce, according to Gen Z

Gen Z consumers globally are optimistic about AI’s role in ecommerce. A massive 88% percent of Gen Zers globally think AI can improve online shopping, and 55% of respondents were interested in an AI assistant that would make online shopping more convenient by simplifying product discovery and anticipating their needs and desires. Additionally, 51% of Gen Zers say they are interested in augmented reality and virtual reality shopping experiences.

Gen Zers globally identify the top five ways AI will improve online shopping, including making it easier to:

  • Compare prices (47%)
  • Find deals (45%)
  • Receive relevant offers and product suggestions (41%)
  • Receive personalised assistance (37%)
  • Find reviews (28%)

Methodology

This survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Rokt from May 1 to May 15, 2023. Survey respondents consisted of 6,023 consumers ages 18-78 across the US, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan.

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