• Eighty-four percent of shoppers either hesitant or unwilling to share personal information with retailers to personalize their online experience;
• Fifty-eight percent of shoppers experienced retargeting this season; 48 percent say retargeting turns them off from retailers;
• Retailers’ on-site and email promotions influenced majority of purchase decisions; mobile and social promotions showing promise;
• Shoppers name e-commerce website navigation and site search as features retailers need to improve most, at 57 and 54 percent respectively.
Baynote, today revealed the results from the Baynote Holiday Online Shopping Experience Survey. The independent study, which surveyed 500 U.S. online holiday shoppers during the month of December , provides a retrospective look at consumers’ satisfaction with their digital experience across a number of key areas, including retailers’ behavioral retargeting and privacy practices, mobile and social features, offers and promotions, and product merchandising approaches.
Overall, 55 percent of consumers rated their online shopping experience as “good,” equivalent to a “B” grade. Twenty-three percent said they had an excellent experience and 17.6 percent said it was just average. Compared to last year, 51 percent of shoppers said their experience was the same compared to 46 percent who said it improved.
“Although there are numerous studies leading up to the holiday season that attempt to forecast what retailers can expect, few explore how consumers actually thought online retailers performed immediately after the fact,” said Carlos Carvajal, VP of marketing at Baynote. “The results from the Baynote Holiday Online Experience Survey indicate that while consumers had a satisfactory online experience this season overall, in very few areas did retailers exceed customer expectations, with site search and navigation being called out as the top areas for improvement. Also interesting are the study’s findings around mobile and social commerce, which indicate that consumer behavior still lags retailer’s investments in these areas. Next year we expect to see many more consumers using these channels as part of their holiday shopping experience.”
Additional findings across the key categories the study explored include:
Retargeting and Privacy:
• Shoppers Unwilling to Disclose Personal Information for More Personalization: Eighty-four percent of consumers are either hesitant or unwilling to share their personal information with retailers to personalize their online experience. The remaining 16 percent said they would definitely share their personal information to have a more personalized online shopping experience;
• Retargeting Widespread but Damaging Brand Equity: Fifty-eight percent of holiday shoppers recalled experiencing retargeting, which refers to the practice of targeting consumers with advertisements after they clicked on a product or promotion on a website but did not make a purchase. Fifty-four percent of shoppers said they felt that this season’s surge of retargeting was an invasion of their privacy. In fact, 48 percent said that retargeting turns them off of retailers.
Offers and Promotions:
• On-Site Promotions Heavily Influenced Retail Sales: Seventy-one percent said e-commerce website promotions, such as ad banners, influenced their buying decisions. E-mail was a very close second, with 70 percent of respondents saying such promotions either heavily or somewhat influenced their purchase decisions;
• Promotions Can Be More Relevant: Nearly 43 percent of respondents said the relevance of retailers’ promotions delivered to them was average, fair or poor;
• Non-Traditional Promotions Showing Promise: In the battle of the social sites, 31 percent of respondents were influenced by promotions through Facebook while only 17 percent were swayed by those on Twitter. Twenty percent of respondents said mobile-based promotions influenced their holiday shopping.
Mobile and Social Media:
• Mobile Purchasing Showing Promise: Thirteen percent of respondents used their mobile phones to make holiday purchases this year while 18 percent used them for comparison shopping. Of the people who purchased a gift with their mobile phone, convenience was the biggest reason for doing so (68 percent). The second largest factor was because they were offered a time-sensitive promotion (46 percent). Consumers who did not make mobile purchases indicated it was mostly because their computers were more convenient, at 51 percent, and 26 percent said it was due to security concerns;
• Few Shoppers Shared Their Purchases Through Social Media: Only 15 percent of respondents said they shared product links with their friends on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Although clearly not in the mainstream yet, 16 percent still purchased an additional product based on their Facebook friends “liking” or purchasing a product.
• Holiday Shoppers Struggle to Find What They’re Looking For: Retailers did not do a great job this season helping their customers quickly locate the items they sought, likely impacting revenue margins. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they would like sites to improve their site navigation and 54 percent said the same for site search. Of product recommendations, site search, site navigation and product reviews/ratings, excellent site navigation is the most valued by consumers, with 58 percent saying it is very important to them, followed by site search at 53 percent;
• On-site Product Recommendations Drove Additional Purchases: Among consumers who purchased something different and/or in addition to what they originally intended, 42 percent said they were drawn to a complementary product displayed near the product they were looking at;
• Poor Search Results Leading to Site Abandonment: Fifty-five percent of consumers abandoned sites mid-way through an online shopping session this season. Fifty percent of shoppers said it was because of misleading search results, and 48 percent said they abandoned sites because they couldn’t find the products they were initially looking for once they arrived on retailers’ sites.
To see the survey’s results in full, please visit baynote.com/.
Baynote (baynote.com) provides personalization and digital marketing optimization solutions that power the adaptive web, an emerging standard in customer experience that is always personal, relevant and convenient. By observing engagement patterns among like-minded individuals to understand user intent, the Baynote Adaptive Web Suite™ automatically optimizes and adapts the online experience, leading to increased conversions, revenue and loyalty. Baynote’s customers include: AT&T, CA, Dell, Expedia, Intuit, Fox, Urban Outfitters and VEVO. The company is based in San Jose, Calif. with additional offices in the U.K. and Germany. For more information, please visit b
The survey was conducted online over a three-week timeframe leading up to December 28, 2010. The survey pool was comprised of 500 U.S.-based individuals who shopped online during the holiday season. Margin of error: +/- 4.4 percent.