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E-Commerce Task Completion & What Users Want

Posted on 2.13.2011

Retailers should be addressing website task completion issues according to the iPerceptions Retail / E-Commerce Industry Report for Q4 2010 released today. 

The iPerceptions research revealed that 40% of people visiting a site with the intention of making a purchase reported the inability to complete their task. Pretty shocking considering that Q4 represents the highest traffic volume of the year for most retail sites. 

While educating users should be the focus of the rest of the year, “Q4 is the time to focus on conversion, plain and simple," said Claude Guay, President and CEO of iPerceptions. "In addition, online retailers and e-commerce merchants concerned about repeat sales and long-term loyalty need to take a serious look at their task completion rate and support issues that visitors are experiencing.”

It is normally safe to expect a drop-off in satisfaction and task completion as visitors near the end of the purchase funnel - particuarly around the holidays. For visitors in the ‘Buy’ phase who failed to complete their task, 39% couldn’t find the product they were looking for, while 33% abandoned the purchase process because the product they were looking for wasn’t available. Other explanations for failed task completion included concerns over the shipping policy and/or purchase conditions such as inadequate product information (8%). Technical barriers prevented 4% of ‘Buy’ phase visitors from moving forward.

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