(Gawkwire.com) 1&1 has recently released a newly conducted research that suggest that technology items are the most stressful gifts for British women to buy online. The survey of 1500 online shoppers(1) finds that 1 in 3 women as well as 1 in 5 men feel that despite extensive choice, finding and ordering technology gifts causes them most headaches.  For men, clothing is the most stressful gift to buy online, with 1 in 4 men (25 per cent) affected.  Despite shopping being regarded as ‘the national pastime’, 76 per cent of Britons surveyed incurred stress whilst online shopping during the past 3 months.  The study suggests that the way some products are offered online can be complex and alienating for many consumers.  All online retailers will be more successful if their customers feel informed and supported throughout.  1&1 offers firms eShop packages with tools and features to help optimise the entire shopping experience.

1&1’s ‘Online Gifting Study’ finds that buying items for others online is not always a pleasure.  1 in 5 Britons (21 per cent) feel they become stressed shopping for any type of gift online.  Across all adults, technology items are considered the most complex and stressful (26 per cent), followed by clothes (23 per cent), fragrance (9 per cent), jewellery (8 per cent) and toys (6 per cent).  Perhaps unsurprisingly, gift vouchers are the least challenging purchase with only 2 per cent of shoppers displeased with the process. 

There are significant variations by gender – around 1 in 3 women (30 per cent) are most stressed buying technology items, compared to only 18 per cent of men.  However, there are plenty of product categories where men struggle more.  When purchasing clothing gifts online, 1 in 4 men find the process complex and stressful compared to only 1 in 5 women.  Similarly, when buying jewellery, 11 per cent of men incur stress while only 6 per cent of women feel the same.  The same trend can be seen for gifts including fragrance, cosmetics and homewares.  The study lends weight to the concept that retailers will benefit from supporting less confident customers with background materials and recommendations for their products. 

Interestingly, younger age groups appear to suffer more discomfort than older shoppers when buying gifts online.  For example, 16-25 year olds endure the most anxiety when buying technology items (34 per cent), more than any older age group.  Similarly, other items traditionally associated with youth, such as DVDs and jewellery, provoke around twice as much stress in those aged under 25 years as they do for online shoppers aged 55+.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet Ltd. said, "Despite the rapid growth and great many benefits of eCommerce, the study shows that consumers can still struggle with online shopping.  Online retailers of all sizes must optimise their entire purchasing experience, and not merely how well their products are presented.  Through product information, customer communication and a flexible shopping-cart process, consumers can be made to feel more comfortable, and in so doing customer spend and loyalty can be increased”.

The data suggests that online retailers can financially benefit from refining their processes and providing additional support materials for shoppers.  1&1 offers it’s Top Tips for optimising an online store:

1. Even large-scale retailers can sometimes overwhelm the consumer with a crowded design.  Create a smart, clean design with a choice of options for product images and descriptions

2. Assist shoppers with making their choices by providing background material such as Advice Guides for items such as yours.  With more guidance to hand, shoppers are less stressed and spend longer on a website

3. Provide a channel for support throughout the shopping cart process.  If a shopper feels that help is only a click away, they will spend more money

4. Win trust by displaying customer feedback such as customer star ratings.  This will help to allay any ‘fear factor’ that consumers may have

5. Invest in options for payment and delivery.  Shoppers will often abandon purchases at the final stage because of doubts over fulfilment

Nowadays, affordable and easy to use eCommerce platforms can deliver any type or size of retailer with a swift and transparent shopping-cart process. 1&1 eShops present items in a customisable way and feature tools including Shop Designer, Customer Area options, and advanced shipping and currency options.  1&1 web hosting also offers customer communication tools such as In2Site Live Dialogue, Chat Channels and RatePoint.  It has never been more affordable for retailers to upgrade their eCommerce platform.  1&1 eShop packages start from only from £4.99/month+VAT.

For more information on 1&1 hosting visit the website at www.1and1.co.uk



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