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E-Commerce & the Modern Purchasing Process

Posted on 12.07.2014

As the world transitions from bricks to clicks, the role of customer service in the purchasing process is coming under closer scrutiny.

New research from hybris reveals that while more than one-third of customers (37 percent) believe in-store customer service at major retailers has declined, 34 percent of respondents believe online customer service has actually improved over the past three years.

While long lines and unhelpful sales associates were the biggest complaints of in-store purchasing, waiting for delivery and security concerns topped the list when it came to online shopping.

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"We found that most complaints consumers have about shopping online and in store could be resolved with the right commerce technology,” said Stefan Schmidt, vice president of product strategy at hybris. “In-store technology like tablets and mobile checkout options can shorten waiting time and equip associates with the tools they need to efficiently serve their customers. E-commerce technology, like click-and-collect, can be a solution for customers that are not interested in waiting for delivery.”

Consumers also reported spending a significant amount of time researching products online, with 29 percent spending more than thirty minutes before they make a purchase. Eighty-two percent said they consult online customer reviews and 80 percent said they visit the retailer’s website. However, the study unveiled that social media may not be as persuasive as retailers may think: 84 percent of respondents said that sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest don’t influence their purchasing decisions.

“Retailers should look for technology that makes it easy for consumers to find the information they’re looking for, whether it’s store locations, product availability or their purchase history,” said Schmidt. “An advanced commerce platform should make the customer experience seamless across channels, allowing consumers to browse, purchase and pick up items however they choose.

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