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Businesses think extra features enhance online shopping – consumers disagree

Storyblok, the content management system (CMS) category leader that empowers both developers and content teams to create better content experiences across all digital channels, released research which reveals that many businesses misunderstand what consumers want out of online shopping.

The survey of 2,000 consumers and 200 business leaders at medium-sized e-commerce companies in the UK shows 70% of companies believe features such as chatbots enhance the customer experience, whereas only 22% of consumers agree.

When asked what the three most important factors are in the online experience, 60% of consumers said ease of navigation, 42% said simple design and 41% said visual appeal. In contrast, only 28% of businesses cited improving the design of their website as a priority, and 36% said they would add more features. 45% of businesses said they would add more payment options, but this was less of an issue for consumers with only 23% citing limited payment options as a reason to abandon a purchase.

Consumers and businesses agree that fast loading speeds are critical. 42% of consumers said they decide whether to stay on or leave a website within 10 seconds – 24% within 5 seconds. 46% of businesses said improving their website loading time was a top priority.

Previous research by Storyblok underlines the importance of businesses understanding the priorities of their customers. Storyblok revealed in a study of 6,000 consumers and 500 business leaders across Europe and the US that 60% of consumers regularly abandon purchases due to poor website user experience, with businesses estimating it costs, on average, $72,000 in lost sales per year.

Dominik Angerer, CEO and Co-Founder of Storyblok, said: “There’s a lot of enthusiasm from businesses for more website features, but this is not shared by consumers – at least not yet. It’s important for businesses to continually ask themselves if the features they add to their websites really do enhance the customer experience. More is not always better, and what our research clearly shows is that businesses cannot lose sight of the fundamentals of good design, clear navigation, and fast loading speeds.”

Looking ahead, 26% of business leaders said they believe AR/VR experiences are the most important trend in marketing, followed by personalisation (21%), AI-generated content (24%), and automation (17%). Consumers are slightly more skeptical about the impact of AR/VR with only 32% stating it would encourage them to make a purchase and 24% saying they didn’t know. Americans were more enthusiastic with 57% agreeing it would encourage them to make a purchase.