Frustrations over direct-to-consumer brands’ websites

A new report has revealed that 40 per cent of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands mistakenly think it is okay to have three or more ‘friction points’ in a customer buying journey – and they could be set to fail as a result.

The study, from purpose-built retail ERP platform, Brightpearl, looked closely at the most common inconveniences that frustrate online shoppers – from losing items in an online basket, to struggling to find products, finding out payment and delivery options are not suitable, or even items turning up late or not at all.

The reality is that direct-to-consumer brands overestimate the patience of online shoppers. Only one in five shoppers will accept more than two inconveniences before giving up on a purchase – with four in 10, 42 per cent, having done exactly that in the last year.

Researchers identified unsatisfactory shopping experiences to be common, despite the confidence of more than two-thirds of brands that believe they offer ‘fast and frictionless’ experiences for their customers.

Brightpearl’s research revealed that 61 per cent of consumers have experienced an issue related to buying goods online in the last 12 months. Worryingly for brands, 69 per cent of consumers also told researchers that if a shopping experience was poor, they would never shop with the same online store again.

“This research highlights a clear gap between brand perception of their customer experience and what shoppers really think,” said Derek O’Carroll, CEO, Brightpearl. “The disconnect could result in DTC businesses being eaten for breakfast by competitors who offer a more seamless buying journey and better customer service.”

According to the study, the biggest gripes for shoppers who’ve had negative shopping experiences mostly relate to delivery and returns. In the past year, 60 per cent of consumers said they’ve bought goods that have not arrived when expected, while 40 per cent of shoppers have experienced items not arriving at all.

Other frustrations also include high shipping charges, unsuitable delivery options and companies that don’t offer free returns.

In addition, the following major pain points would put off customers from shopping with a brand:

  • A website that crashes, is slow, or is too complicated
  • A lack of product information, poorly designed pages or no reviews
  • Pre-purchase registration requirement