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In order to gain a greater insight into the most common problems faced by Online Shoe Shoppers, we conducted a survey here at Arema Connect. 52% of our respondents purchase their shoes both in store and online. Therefore, it can be said that the increase in popularity of ecommerce has greatly shifted shoppers from their traditional in store buying habits. When asking shoppers why they purchased their shoes online a clear pattern emerged:

  • 55% of respondents favored online shoe shopping as it saves time
  • 35% of respondents answered it was more convenient than shopping in store

A pie chart representing reasons people buy shoes online

However, there were many problems highlighted that faced shoppers while buying shoes online including:

  • Quality
  • Logistical and Delivery issues
  • Digital Payment issues
  • Unclear return policies

Bar Chart- Common problems faced by online shoe shoppers

Delivery and logistical issues proved to be the most common at 48%. Many online shoe retailers have order tracking systems in place, which prove to be extremely beneficial for customers to be kept up to date with the whereabouts of their order. Online Shoe Retailers who do not have this system in place may be at a competitive disadvantage.

29% of respondents answered that they frequently faced digital payment issues. When a consumer has spent time browsing the website, selecting shoes and the correct sizing, only to find they cannot process and pay for their order is extremely frustrating. Most likely, this will lead to the order being abandoned in the cart. Additionally, there is a good chance that the shopper will not visit the site again.

12% of respondents have come across the issue of unclear return policies. By presenting shoppers with inadequate information regarding returns places a huge feeling of doubt in the shoppers mind. Additionally, shoppers will not buy from the site or fail to recommend to a friend.

Reasons shoppers return their shoes:

Online shoe shoppers can face many problems pre, during and post purchase. The most successful Online Shoe Retailers have  customer support in place for all stages of their buying process for their customers, ensuring there is a customer centric approach to online shoe retailing achieved. Our research found that 35% of shoppers returned their shoes due to inaccurate delivery times. More reasons for returning shoes included:

  • Poor Quality
  • Sizing Issues
  • Did not like the style

Overall, the majority of reasons for returns were due to personal preferences and incorrect sizing. In turn, it could be said that these are problems outside of the retailers hands.

The importance of providing excellent customer support

72% of respondents said they would visit an alternative site if they were facing problems and the correct customer support channels were not in place. Only 28% of respondents would not visit an alternative site if they were having difficulties while shopping on the website. Therefore, it is vital to have the correct channels to support online shoe shoppers with any difficulties they may face. When respondents were asked about their most preferred channel for accessing customer support 32% would use telephone as their preferred channel for customer support. Followed by 28% preferring Live Chat and Email was closely behind at 24% as a favored channel for customer support. 16% of respondents would choose Social Media as their chosen channel for customer support.

Bar Chart of the preferred channels for accessing customer support

To conclude, carrying out this survey allowed us to gain a greater insight into some of the common problems faced by online shoe shoppers. Furthermore, from our research we were able to see the more popular channels customers access for support. At Arema Connect we provide many businesses in the retail sector with an omnichannel approach to customer support. Additionally, our client`s customers can choose their most favorable channel for support and we provide our clients with in depth reporting helping them to highlight customer pain points.

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