It may be the season to be jolly—but approximately 60% of consumers are “dissatisfied” with their holiday and online shopping experiences. That’s according to the most recent Pitney Bowes’ 2019 Online Shopping Study. That’s almost twice as many unhappy online holiday shoppers as four years ago.

Why are consumers so frustrated?

Their three top reasons:

  1. Delayed shipments
  2. The cost of shipping
  3. Inaccurate tracking

These pain points don’t go away after customers make a purchase either. That just leads to new complaints, such as:

  • Receiving a wrong or damaged item
  • Waiting a long time for a refund
  • Inconvenient returns—not just during the holiday season

Just how bad is it? Really, really bad—86% of consumers say poor post-purchase experiences are like getting a root canal.

Millennials are shopping less

According to the Pitney Bowes survey Millennials are shopping (and buying) less online. The survey says they’re becoming “more sophisticated shoppers,” meaning they’re likely spending as much money as they did in previous years, but they’re making fewer purchases.

More millennial shopping trends:

  • Poor retail experiences get shared on social media: 89% of Millennials would take action if they weren’t satisfied with a post-purchase experience—and 19% will take their dissatisfaction to social media.
  • Consumers demand post-purchase communications: Millennials would rather know their package arrived at the destination (show them on a map) than schedule a specific date/time for delivery. All consumers track their packages (59%), but 67% of millennials track their packages.
  • Who needs a fitting room?: 66% of Millennials buy clothing in multiple sizes, colors and patterns to try on at home and return what they don’t want. Among online shoppers, in general, 51% admit to this behavior (called “bracketing”). Men (27%) are more likely to “bracket” than women (19%).
  • Subscription boxes grow: 41% of Millennials use subscription services and 66% of them buy less often from non-sub box retailers as a result.

Consumers hate returns

Consumers would rather keep an unwanted product than deal with hassle of paying for returns—71% “hate” paying for returns.

  • 61% “hate” missing the returns period and getting stuck with the product.
  • 72% “love” it when a return label comes in the package
  • 66% “love” when a carrier picks up a return from their home or mailbox

Shipping frustrations

  • Free shipping still rules—24% of shoppers are disappointed with the cost of shipping. Free shipping is the #1 most important loyalty driver
  • 29% of online shoppers are disappointed with delayed shipments. And what’s worse—40% of consumers blame the retailer when a package is delayed, damaged or lost—not the carrier.
  • 59% of consumers track their packages daily or multiple times a day, making inaccurate tracking all the more frustrating, leading to 51% of them either enrolling or being interested in enrolling in a carrier tracking program (UPS MyChoice, FedEx Delivery Manager, etc.).

 

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Rieva Lesonsky

CEO, President & Founder at GrowBiz Media, and member of the SMB Experts.

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