Galling Websites: People Can’t Find What They’re Looking For, So They Switch Brands

Galling Websites: People Can’t Find What They’re Looking For, So They Switch Brands

by , Columnist, August 10, 2022

Email teams are usually stuck with the cleanup when a customer abandons a cart. 

But many shoppers never even get to the checkout stage because they can’t find what they’re looking for, judging by Product Over Price: The Critical Role Personalization Plays In Converting Online Searches Into Sales, a study by Wakefield Research, sponsored by Elastic. 

Of the consumers polled, 75% said they would switch websites if a retailer failed to show them the desired item. And this must happen often, as 78% face difficulties searching for products on retailer websites and 70% say multiple attempts are needed.

That said, the most influential factors in purchase decisions are: 

  • Easy-to-navigate website — 50% 
  • Targeted promotions/sales—42%
  • Relevant product/service info — 41% 
  • Post-purchase follow-up — 28% 
  • Notifications for special events — 26%

Clearly, the email department must handle targeted promotions and sales, post-purchase follow-up and notifications for special events. (And abandoned cart reminders).

Personalization is critical — 88% say they are more likely to continue shopping on a website that offers a personalized experience, and this includes 96% of Gen Z and 97% of Millennials. Moreover, 84% say personalization influences their purchase choices. 

But what about those search failures? Shoppers cite the following difficulties: 

  • Irrelevant search results — 30% 
  • Desired product is not shown first — 28%
  • Difficulty comparing products — 27%
  • Need to know product names — 24% 

These frustrations are especially vexing to younger shoppers — i.e., to 84% of Gen Z and millennials, versus 74% of Gen X and Boomers.

Indeed, 53% overall say it is more important to find what they want than to pay the lowest price.

Among those who have problems searching a retail website, 51% cite a lack of personalization. But 68% bought an item they did not intend to based on recommendations.  

In general, 52% are likely to switch brands due to current economic conditions, and 44% are likely to jump to less expensive retailers. In addition, 19% would change to easier-to-find brands. 

On the positive side, 89% are more confident when purchasing across multiple channels, with 25% much more likely.

Elastic sponsored a survey by Wakefield Research of 1,000 U.S. consumers. 

Shoppers demand personalization and follow-up notifications, Wakefield Research and Elastic report. That’s where email teams come in.