Poor Customer Service Holding Back E-Commerce Sales

Decisions Affected by Lack of Human Assistance

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Earlier this month comScore released its Q2 retail e-commerce sales estimates, which indicated that US online retail spending dropped from the same period from last year. This is only the second time that has happened.

Sure, you have to take the economy into consideration, but there are other factors that can keep people from making purchases online. A new poll from Harris Interactive found that a lack of human assistance is one of those factors, and a big one at that.

Here are some interesting findings from that poll:

– 4 in 5 online adults who have purchased items online in the last six months (77%) say they would be interested in getting help from a real person before making certain online purchases.

– However, over 4 in 5 (82%) say there have been times when they have not been able to get help from a real person.

– Over half (52%) of those who haven’t been able to get the help they needed from a real person say it’s affected their decision to not purchase the product.

Just look at the following graphs:

Adults who have purchased items online


Adults who haven't been able to receive help

"No level of automation can replace the human touch. The results indicate that shoppers still want real people to help them purchase products, even in a digital setting," said Prashant Nedungadi, CEO and founder of IMshopping, who commissioned the survey. "Many retailers have started taking steps in this direction and we believe it will be the single biggest push for the retail industry over the next several years."

The following graph shows some of the types of items people really want human assistance with before making purchasing decisions.

Types of items

Out of the people who have purchased items online in the past six months, the most commonly purchased items include clothing, books, music, health and beauty products, and travel-related items.

While it is a good idea to make the online purchase as easy on your customers as possible, from simply the design and usability standpoint, you may consider whether or not you are offering enough human assistance, and how easy that is for the customer to obtain.

Poor Customer Service Holding Back E-Commerce Sales
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  • Guest

    I(and most others) chose an online sales platform so that I don’t have to deal with crazy ones each day.

    Online sites don’t have to deal with rude,obnoxious,stupids idiots because most communication is through email.

    • Chris Crum

      Sounds like a great customer service strategy.

  • http://www.homesolarpowersystems.org Home Solar Power Systems

    Websites dealing with online sales should build a confidence towards customers to increase the sales. This can happen only when the websites delivers the correct product every time to their customers instead of wrong ones (sometimes).

    If this happens, then there’s no need of real person.

  • http://www.superiorpromos.com Promotional Products

    I think no matter what business you are running; e-commerce, brick and mortar, etc. customer service is an absolute necessity. Practicing great customer service is the best way to make sure customers patronize your business again and a satisfied customer is some of the best advertising that you can ever receive.

  • http://www.queensoccer.com Sunnyshine

    I’m one who like to deal with human customer service. It makes me feel more confident to buy. Anyway, I accept that I sometimes, meet the stupid sales person or customer service. I prefer to complain about that to their managers.

  • http://www.unichost.com Web Hosting provider India

    There are various great sayings in India about customers. One of them is ‘Customer is King”. In every aspect, if you can satisfy your customer from the first minute, success is yours. It’s a very good survey showing how important it is to integrate a human touch to your business. And It’s really true – whether it is online or offline, customer needs your attention. We have included phone number as well all real time chat on our site http://www.unichost.com You are most welcome.

  • http://www.bikeshopcastlehill.com.au Home Solar Power Systems

    Face is the index of the mind, similarly customers are index of the market. Where the customer service stands high, there the market stands high too!

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