Poor Service Continues to Frustrate European Consumers, Reveals Second ATG Study


European consumers are more frustrated by online customer service than they were a year ago, according to the results of the latest online shopping study conducted by ATG (Art Technology Group, Inc., NASDAQ: ARTG), the premier provider of cross-channel commerce solutions.

The benchmark survey of 5,000 European consumers reveals that 43 per cent rate online service as just satisfactory or worse, a rise compared to last year’s figure of 25 per cent.

The results also indicate that over half (51 per cent) of consumers find the most frustrating aspect of shopping online is the difficulty they have reaching retailers by phone or online chat to answer questions. The second most cited frustration was trouble completing orders at the checkout (23 per cent).

When asked which sectors offered the best levels of online service, the results echoed those of last year with most (27 per cent) giving the highest ratings to the entertainment sector. Drilling down, the study reveals that the speed of service (22%) and the option to shop via their preferred channel (22%) is what consumers like most about buying online.

The survey also found that 43 per cent of consumers across Europe are willing to spend no more than €50 online in a single transaction. This is less than last year, when over half (53 per cent) said they wouldn’t part with more than €50 online, suggesting consumers are more comfortable shopping online.

UK specific findings 

- Over one third (35 per cent) of UK consumers would not describe their experience of online shopping as anything more than satisfactory
- 40 per cent of consumers believe the entertainment sector offers the best level of service online
- 45 per cent of consumers wouldn’t spend more than £50 online in a single transaction
- Forgetting account information, such as login details, is the most common consumer frustration (31 per cent)

Frank Lord, VP EMEA, ATG comments on the results: “More brands than ever are keen to target new markets and engage customers through multiple channels, but this can’t be at the expense of excellent customer service. A large percentage of European consumers remain dissatisfied with the online shopping experience so it’s crucial brands constantly assess how they can improve service levels.

This means deploying tools such as ‘Live Help’ which gives shoppers the opportunity to receive real-time assistance via the phone or instant messenger during the checkout process. Difficulties getting access to shoppers was a key frustration highlighted in our research and can easily be avoided through the deployment of such technology.”
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