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E-commerce

Customers still hesitant to buy certain products online

Australians are less likely to purchase new product categories online if an online store’s customer experience is not up to scratch, research commissioned by delivery company CouriersPlease has found.

Over half (56 per cent) of respondents noted they are hesitant to shop for new categories if products are not shown clearly and realistically on a retailer’s site, with a further 53 per cent wanting easier returns.

Improved sizing guides, greater choice, and better online security were all noted as necessities for purchasing in the report, though shoppers seem happy with the current state of payment processes – with only 17 per cent recommending improvement in this space.

Respondents overwhelmingly want the cost of shipping to fall, with 60 per cent noting they would consider purchasing from a new category if shipping and returning was cheaper.

“The findings reveal that customers are more comfortable purchasing products they can inspect before hand,” CouriersPlease head of commercial and transformation Jessica Ip said.

“As such, retailers will need to continue improving the online store, delivery and returns experience to enable consumers to be confident in their product choice before purchase.”

Additionally, respondents revealed the product categories they have never shopped online, with 67 per cent noting they had never purchased an animal online.

Tools, hardware, and motor parts haven’t been purchased online by 42 per cent of respondents, the same percentage who haven’t purchase white goods online.

Forty-one per cent haven’t purchased jewellery online, with a further 34 per cent having avoided purchasing homewares and furniture.

Flowers and hampers, food and alcohol, sporting goods and hobbies, fashion, health and beauty, toys, technology, and books, DVDs and stationery had all been more consistent purchases with respondents, suggesting customers still prefer to purchase smaller items online.

With a higher delivery cost typically attached to big ticket items, the impulse-purchase friendly nature of smaller items lend themselves more effectively to online shopping given customers are hesitant to purchase items with larger delivery costs.

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