Cautious consumers are costing online retailers

We all have those moments when, shopping online for this or that, we pause before hitting the ‘Buy’ button and ask ourselves, “Is this really a necessary purchase?” We either bite the bullet and buy, or add it to our ever-expanding Amazon wishlist.

A nationwide survey from online payments solutions company has revealed the extent to which consumers dilly-dally before making a purchase and the implications for online retailers.

On average, shoppers spend an average of two and a half hours every week mulling over whether or not to make purchases – that’s more than five days a year, or 340 days over the course of an adult lifetime.

According to the data, shoppers take as long as an hour deciding what to buy for lunch, and an average of two weeks on buying a new item of clothing, and three and a half months deliberating over larger purchases such as a new car or holiday. A cautious 9 in 10 consumers wait until something like a washing machine or fridge is broken before investing in a new one.

The survey also found 79% of consumers confess to being ‘tight’ with money, while 19% of shoppers said they hate parting with their cash and 1 in 10 said they feel guilty if they have to invest in something expensive like a new sofa or fridge.

This will come as more bad news for retailers who are working hard to get shoppers to part with their cash following a slew of poor retail results and major high street closures.

“Consumers are, understandably, careful when it comes to spending money. We deliberate over our purchase decisions – and so naturally, there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow checkout process,” Guillaume Pousaz, Founder and CEO of said.

“Shopping online should be made as easy as possible for customers, from the moment you open the browser to receiving the confirmation email. Retailers who do not adapt will suffer. At we help online retailers meet the needs of their customers by optimising their payments process to keep pace with demand.”

Following the news that Instagram are trialing an in-app payments feature, the research also showed that 36% of consumers often buy things after they have seen them advertised on social media, and 37% said it would be handy if you could buy from sites like Instagram and Facebook directly.

“Shoppers today expect to see offers tailored to their individual needs, wants and past behaviours, as well as recommendations based on the likes and dislikes of their respective social networks” Pousaz continued.

When asked how they would like to pay in the future, 83% of shoppers said they would choose a debit or credit card, 21% would use Apple Pay, 15% opted for Google Pay and 11% chose Face ID.

“Retail tech that enhances the user experience with personalisation and focuses on delighting the shopper will play a big part for retailers in 2018 and beyond,” Pousaz concluded.

“Personalisation tech will also be as important offline as online, with in-store experiences delivering more ‘wow-factor’.”


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