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Research : 40% of shoppers would spend more if offered a better customer experience Oracle and Rakuten’s Play.com

We found that new research from Oracle reports that 40% of shoppers would spend more if offered a better customer experience, rising to 81% of consumers in Western Europe and increasing even more in the UK to 90%.

Previously it was commonly assumed that price was the best way to beat the competition, but as e-commerce becomes an increasingly overcrowded marketplace businesses need to think of new ways to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers. The research shows that getting the basics of customer service in place is still more valuable than what the Oracle report calls ‘service extras’, for example social and mobile.

Other key findings from the report:

  • A third of total respondents (35%) want businesses to ensure they can easily ask questions and access information before making a purchase
  • The importance of an easy returns policy was highlighted by 32%
  • The most popular method of contacting a business is by telephone (37%)
  • Email is perhaps the most common way of contacting customer services, as 22% said their first line of action is to send a support request email through a company website and 18% said they would send a personal email to a customer service agent
  • 76% of respondents said that they are often or nearly always satisfied that their problem gets resolved when they contact customer service

Please see below comment from Adam Stewart, Director of Marketing at Rakuten’s Play.com in response to the news:

“Oracle’s findings highlight that getting the basics of customer service in place is still more valuable than ‘service extras’. In response to customer feedback we recently brought our own customer service Contact Centre back to the UK. Further, we are boosting the 55 strong team to 200 over the Christmas period to ensure customers receive the best possible service.

Some retailers treat e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience in which price is the most important factor, and the only way to tempt shoppers to come back is by offering extras and up selling. However we’re finding that consumers now expect more than just good value from their online shopping experience.  In fact, we found that over a third of shoppers (37%) believe the quality of customer service is more important online than in-store.

The incentive is clear, not only will you ensure shoppers come back and make repeat purchases, but with nearly half of under 25s and over a third of 25-34 year olds turn to social media when other customer service channels fail, in order to air concerns publically, you want to ensure your brand isn’t the one with a social media #fail due to poor customer service. We ensure we follow the Rakuten best practice model from Japan, Omotenashi, a Japanese service style which aims to go the extra mile when delivering great customer experience.”

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