Fast search and free shipping top the list of ‘ecommerce must-haves’ this Christmas

Fast search functions and free shipping are the keys to ecommerce success this holiday season. That’s according to a new research report from Episerver, outlining the 26 best practices for online retailers this Christmas.

The research, which surveyed 4,000 global consumers, found that expensive shipping and not being able to search for items effectively are the two top reasons that a customer will abandon a brand’s site or mobile app without making a purchase.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 67% of consumers count images as the most influential type of content when purchasing a product online.
  • 60% say that the number one reason for abandoning a purchase is that shipping is too expensive.
  • 54% of consumers will abandon a purchase if they cannot easily find what they are looking for.
  • 25% of consumers are more likely to repeat buy from brands that personalise their digital experience.

Ed Kennedy, Senior Director of Commerce at Episerver, comments: “Retailers and brands need to tune their search and navigation to help consumers get to the specific product category they have in mind. Retailers should streamline the process with on-site search optimisation, simplifying their navigation structure and presenting popular categories across the website.

“While some retailers avoid free shipping to not cut into their bottom lines, the takeaway here is that there is no bottom line without meeting customer expectations first. There are a number of ways to improve experience in order to increase conversions, and this report lays out 26 examples of doing so as told by consumers themselves with their survey responses.”

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