Thursday 15 January 2009 17:48

A new report* from PayPal, the way to pay and be paid online, reveals that British consumers are no longer basing their purchasing decisions on price and convenience. They are now demanding simplicity and a quick checkout from e-tailers’ websites.

The report*, which is part of a major PayPal study looking at trends, issues and insights in UK online shopping, found that almost six in 10 (59%) online shoppers are still put off by websites that are difficult to navigate.

The top features consumers look for when shopping online are:

1. Security (84%) - money back guarantees, trusted payment methods, visible credit card brands
2. Simplicity (78%) - clear layout, easy navigation, one-click payments
3. Detail (42%) - technical and logistical detail about products and services on offer
4. Comparison (30%) - user-generated comments, reviews, recommendations and comparisons
5. Imagery (13%) - a visually rich experience with video and photography to show and explain products and services on offer

Most (84%) consumers say that security features are crucial and almost two thirds (62%) are reluctant to shop online unless credit card brands are clearly displayed and trusted payment methods are offered.

A recent PayPal online shopping report**, which surveyed large retailers found just over two thirds (68%) of merchants believe that delivery costs and waiting time were the biggest frustrations for shoppers. However, consumers say that returns policies are more important, with nearly two thirds (64%) of those polled saying they are deterred by retailers offering difficult refund procedures with no clear details about how to return goods.

Cameron McLean, General Manager for PayPal Merchant Services in the UK, said: “The internet is becoming a more competitive place for retailers and it’s harder to stand out from the crowd. There is an onus on e-tailers to ensure their websites are in line with what consumers want – those that listen to feedback and adapt will be the winners. But consumers are not looking for flashy designs, complicated tools and alienating jargon, they simply want a secure website that is easy to use.”

Consumers want to get an idea of how a product looks and feels, with technical detail about products and services being a crucial feature on merchants’ websites for over four in 10 (42%) consumers.

Cameron McLean continues: “Having no more than three clicks to check out is important for shoppers and is something that the PayPal payment method can offer to retailers. We know from our previous research that many e-tailers do recognise a long ‘trip to the till’ as a turn-off for shoppers and we urge them to take every step possible to eliminate the risk of cart abandonment. Providing tailored sites for customers which deliver an efficient and problem free online shopping experience will help ensure that your customers come back.”

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