6 in 10 Say Social Media Sites Most Frustrating Place to Shop

online shopper

New research breaking down the so-called “laundry list” of consumers’ top online checkout annoyances may be long yet one troubling trend towers above the rest.

The problems range from glitchy or slow technology to bad payments experience, and also include issues such as being asked to answer too many personal questions, or being hit with other unexpected and unwanted outcomes surrounding the availability of inventory, the cost of shipping or more.

But the bottom line is  that: 6 in 10 customers told PYMNTS that their last checkout experience done on a social media platform included some sort of pain point that was bothersome.

chart, checkout frictions across channels

The alarming results come from a survey of 2,030 U.S. consumers for the latest “Enhancing The eCommerce Checkout Report: Streamlining User Experiences To Build Customer Loyalty” report, a collaboration between Checkout.com and PYMNTS that gauged how consumers felt about their online purchasing experiences.

While many of the revelations were positive, the rate of dissatisfaction with social media shopping, which stood at more than double the level found in any other channel, was eye-catching to say the least, and ominous for the highly trafficked social sites which consistently rank among consumers’ top places to spend time online.

But while individuals clearly love the social scene, and retailers, brands and influencers have worked mightily to monetize this opportunity, the PYMNTS survey makes at least two things abundantly clear.

Risk vs Opportunity

The first side effect, so to speak, of these friction-fill checkout journeys implies that there is still much more work to be done to improve the consumer experience in this budding quadrant of digital commerce.

For all their high growth and envy-inducing metrics, social media sites can never lose sight of the fact that taking customers for granted and assuming they’ll overlook a bad experience and still return to buy again is simply wrong.

According to PYMNTS research, 91% of consumers — virtually everyone — said that a satisfying checkout experience strongly affects their willingness to shop with a merchant again.

These findings include both positive and negative factors that are equally linked to a site including streamlined checkout features that consumers have increasingly come to expect, as much as the avoidance and elimination of pinch points that slow the process down, not only serving as an annoyance but also reducing conversion rates.

On the plus side, the PYMNTS checkout study showed that features such as social media sign-in, price matching, and the ability to check inventory in real-time and simple multi-factor authentication tools were favorably mentioned by shoppers.

On the flip side, key pain points mentioned by the 2,000-plus online shoppers polled by PYMNTS included excessive requests for personal information, out-of-stocks, surprise shipping costs or problems with an app or website.

While the checkout survey highlights a range of both dos and don’ts that retailers need to consider whether selling on their own website, mobile app or a marketplace, a huge opportunity exists.

In short, the retailers, brands and sites that do the best job in eliminating these bothersome friction and pain points, while also simultaneously investing in the streamlining tools and tech that consumers actually want, will clear win the day and the war to fully monetize the social media selling opportunity.

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