November 23, 2005, 12:00 AM

89% of online consumers experience transaction problems, survey says

A Harris Interactive survey commissioned by TeaLeaf Technology finds that 89% of consumers encounter problems when attempting to complete online transactions. When that happens, 34% say they turn to competitors.

Application errors could cost a site big money if they are encountered by large numbers of online customers and if they cause customers to turn to competitors’ sites – and they are, and they do, according to a new survey commissioned by applications monitoring service provider TeaLeaf Technology and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The Harris poll found that 89% of those surveyed about their consumer transactions at shopping, banking, travel and insurance web sites say they expect problems when conducting online transactions. 82% say they are not willing to accept a lower level of service online than in the offline channel, and 34% say they’d turn to a competitor if they did experience problems.

Reported problems included error messages, cited by 40% of respondents; a poorly navigable web site, cited by 37%; and difficulty logging onto a web site, 31%. Among those who have conducted online transactions in the past year, web site security, cited by 25%; and ease of completing a transaction, cited by 20%, were the most commonly cited factors believed to contribute to the online customer experience of completing a transaction. Only 3% felt web page download speed contributed the most to a positive customer experience in transaction completion.

"Today even the most sophisticated companies are forced to depend on their customers to report online failure versus proactively identifying issues impacting their customer,” says Rebecca Ward, CEO of TeaLeaf. “This can lead to unidentified problems that negatively impact business results.”

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