September 23, 2010, 1:18 PM

Better customer service could spark more U.K. online spending

A new survey finds U.K. online shoppers want more product recommendations.

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35% of U.K. consumers would spend more money on web purchases if online retailers offered better customer service such as advice about purchases and recommendations about products, suggest survey data from Avail Intelligence, a Swedish firm that sells online merchandising services.

The vendor based its findings on an online survey of 2,107 adult consumers conducted between June 29 and July 1.

30% of respondents said they prefer shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores. Of those consumers, 47% said they would rather go to a store than shop online because stores offer better customer care. 35% said the reason was that associates in stores provide more advice and support than retailers’ offer online.

“It’s clear that shoppers would spend more online if they had access to the recommendations and advice they currently get when visiting a physical store,” says Pontus Kristiansson, Avail’s CEO and founder. “The challenge for retailers is offering that without impacting their cost base so much that it takes away the benefit consumers see in terms of lower prices online.”

The survey found that that 61% of respondents said prices were lower on online retail sites. And 51% of the consumers in the United Kingdom said that retail web sites offer more products than bricks-and-mortar stores.

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