Buyers not charmed by on-line shopping sites

The growth of business-to-business e-commerce continues to be held up by poor on-line customer service and difficult registration...

The growth of business-to-business e-commerce continues to be held up by poor on-line customer service and difficult registration processes, causing users to abandon purchases, research has found.

The survey, commissioned by on-line customer service group Motive Communications, which has just tied up a deal to have its software included on Hewlett-Packard kit, found that 87 per cent of the business users questioned regularly abandoned Web sites.

The findings showed that of the 216 businesses surveyed, 92 per cent regularly experienced problems buying on-line.

Problems cited included the signing up process (87 per cent), researching product information (83 per cent) and the transaction itself (72 per cent).

Commenting on the survey, Motive’s general manager for Europe, Bruno Teuber, remarked businesses selling on the Internet should be “horrified” by the findings.

“Buyers are clearly put off by the complicated and poorly designed service programmes of many British companies.

Successful e-businesses need to centre their business models around the on-line service experience or they run the risk of losing out to their competitors,” he said.

Anna Clepper, vice president of marketing at Motive, said customer service was specifically an issue for operators of marketplaces and exchanges.

“There were a lot of grandiose claims made for e-marketplaces a while back and the truth is many people want to participate in them, but the process of registering is so difficult that they don’t bother,” she claimed.

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