Website Inefficiency Costs UK Retailers £8bn Annually

5 years
    Press Release

Website issues are costing UK retailers more than £8 billion* a year, according to new research from website optimisation technology specialist QuBit (www.quibitgroup.com). The research, based on more than 18,000 pieces of consumer feedback, shows that a range of issues with product information, payment processes and user experience are costing UK retailers up to 14% of overall online sales.

Product information (38%) was the most frequently mentioned issue, with pricing and payment processes (30%) and user experience (28%) driving a significant level of negative consumer feedback.

The data was collected using QuBit’s unique Exit Feedback technology, which automatically collects and categorises live user feedback from retail websites. The system collected over 18,000 comments from consumers on a broad range of leading UK retail websites and then automatically categorised them to give rigorous statistical insight into major issues facing retailer websites.

The top 10 issues which lead users to fail to convert to paying customers on a retail website are:

1) Pricing – Pricing was the leading issue for consumers in their online purchase decisions. Whilst decisions on pricing are a business, rather than a website, issue a key challenge for retailers is to ensure that pricing information is transparent and easily accessible.

2) Product descriptions – Clear and complete product descriptions are a vital part of successful online retail, with over 12% of feedback being related to issues in this area.

3) Stock information – A lack of timely information about stock availability is a key turn-for purchasers.

4) Site functionality – A lack of expected site functionality, for example allowing off-line product pick-up, can be a disincentive to purchase.

5) Shipping information – Poor information about shipping prices or times can cause customers to abandon purchases at the point of payment.

6) Images – Poor quality product imagery can prevent customers from making a product purchase decision, for example a lack of ‘zoom’ functionality or 360° views.

7) Discounts – A lack of targeted discounts or poor discount information can prevent users from completing a purchase, with many expecting demographically targeted, personalised discounts.

8) Navigation – Poor navigation, for example links within a basket that do not take a shopper back to the product they were previously looking at, were a major issue for a number of shoppers.

9) Video – A lack of video content was a major frustration for site users, with many expecting product videos or video reviews.

10) Website speed – A slow loading website remains a major issue for online shoppers.

The whitepaper investigates the impact of these issues on website effectiveness and offers retailers a range of simple solutions to help overcome them.

Graham Cooke, CEO of QuBit, said: “What’s interesting with the issues identified in this research is that many of the solutions are relatively straightforward. Whilst pricing is driven by a number of considerations, issues such as product descriptions or stock information are completely under the control of the retailer. By looking in detail at user behaviour on a site a retailer can understand how these issues are impacting on their sales and, by identifying and prioritising them, can resolve them to increase profits for a relatively small investment.

“Retailers are probably, by and large, aware that these points are an issue for them, what this research does is to clearly show the extent to which they’re impacting on the UK retail industry’s bottom line.”


*Based on a 14% uplift on UK online retail sales of £58.8 billion (IMRG CapGemeni Retail Index, 2010)


About QuBit

Founded by four ex-Google product, engineering and marketing executives, QuBit is creating a new type of data-driven website optimisation product.

The company’s products use advanced data collection, processing and analytics techniques to optimise website conversions, increasing sales and profitability. QuBit’s products bring a new level of insight to the analytics space – they offer true interpretation of website data as well as solutions to conversion issues rather than just analysis of numbers

QuBit works with some of the UK’s largest ecommerce businesses and publishers to increase conversions, sales and profitability from their web operations.