Holiday season shoppers that prowl e-commerce sites in search of presents are experiencing advanced states of digital agita, according to Pitney Bowes’ annual Online Shopping Study.
In a data analysis of more than 3,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 and up, 60% of respondents said they were dissatisfied with their holiday shopping experiences, up 4 percentage points from last year and nearly double the number from four years earlier. And the more these consumers shopped online, the more frustrated they became: 73% of consumers who shop online daily or weekly and 74% of millennials said they were disappointed in some aspect of the post-purchase experience last holiday season.
What spoiled the shopping experience for them? According to the survey, 86% of respondents equated some aspect of the poor post-purchase experience to “having a root canal.”
The most acute unpleasantries involved receiving a wrong or damaged item (72%), taking too long to get a refund after returning an item (64%), an inconvenient returns process (60%) and having to pay for shipping (47%). Furthermore, 51% of all online shoppers, including 66% of millennials, admit to “bracketing” – buying multiple sizes, styles and colors of an item with the intent to return what they don’t want.
“Despite the significant investments retailers and marketplaces are making in the online shopping experience, consumers continue to be disappointed, especially around the holidays,” said Lila Snyder, executive vice president and president of commerce services at Stamford-headquartered Pitney Bowes. “As an even larger percentage of consumer spending is expected to shift online this holiday season, retailers need to shift resources and investments to areas like fast and free shipping, accurate tracking and free and easy returns to keep up with consumer expectations.”