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Retailers are losing out due to poor understanding of online customer experience

A recent survey has found that UK companies are losing the equivalent of 24% of their annual online revenue due to poor online customer experiences.This equates to £14 billion in the past year for online retailers.


Retailers are losing out due to poor understanding of online customer experience

The survey commissioned by online customer experience specialists Tealeaf and conducted by Econsultancy  found that almost one fifth (18%) of businesses rated their understanding of the online customer experience as “poor” or “very poor”, with only 4% classifying it as “excellent”.

This lack of understanding seemed to centre on the bottom of the sales funnel with the majority of companies saying they had “limited” or “no understanding” of why customers abandon a shopping cart (78%) or leave a site without converting (81%). Instead, most were reactive and relied on other channels to discover customer issues, with 76% most likely to learn about site problems as a result of calls to the customer service team or through customer emails.

Steve Robinson, CEO at said he thought  understanding of the online customer experience should be a key focus for all businesses over the next 12 months and commented: “As consumers continue to flock to the web, ebusinesses need to dramatically improve the experience they receive through greater actionable insights. Failure to do so will render companies powerless in making informed site developments, which could reduce their competitive advantage as a result.”

Linking online and offline channels and sharing insights between them was also a major challenge for businesses with only 3% describing the multichannel experience they provided as “excellent”. Just under a quarter (24%) rated it as “poor” or “very poor” and only about a half (49%) had processes in place to prioritise and rectify the problems and issues customers faced online.

Respondents estimated that 15% of total inbound calls related to website problems but, despite this, 68% failed to give call centre agents access to information about the online experience of individual customers. Although the majority of companies (86%) said their call centre staff were able to escalate website issues to the right people in the business, only approximately a third (36%) measured the extent to which these problems were resolved.

“This research demonstrates a clear link between online customer experience and revenue generation,” said Geoff Galat, CMO of Tealeaf. “Ebusinesses have much to gain from better online visibility, particularly at the bottom of the sales funnel, where conversion rates should be highest. A poor online user experience, coupled with a lack of visibility and understanding, translates into a significant amount of lost revenue as well as added costs due to increased inbound enquiries.”

Ashley Friedlein, CEO at Econsultancy said: “The web lies at the heart of any multichannel business these days and so providing visibility across all business units will ensure a seamless experience at all brand touchpoints.” 

He added: “As the online channel becomes increasingly valuable for business, it is vital for companies to ensure the customer journey is as pain-free and seamless as possible. Companies that fail to put in place the technology and processes necessary to improve online experiences will miss out on this growing financial potential.”

The full results of the research are available to download  from


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