Saturday, October 17, 2009

A "Little" problem

A poll was recently commissioned by IM Shopping and conducted by Harris Interactive. The survey of 2,274 adults, ages 18 and older, measured customer sentiment on receiving human assistance while shopping online. The results seem to indicate that customers really would like to talk to humans even when buying online. Some of the statistics are:
1. About 74% of US online adults have purchased online in the last 6 months.
2. The most common purchases were:
44 percent purchased clothing
38 percent purchased books
28 percent purchased music
28 percent purchased health and beauty products
28 percent purchased travel related items
4 percent purchased automobiles
1 percent purchased real estate.
3. About 77 percent who have purchased within the last 6 months say they would be interested in getting help from a real person before making certain online purchases. More than half say they would want help before purchasing real estate
(56%), automobiles (54%),and insurance (51%). Other items that many would also like help from a real person to make the purchase include computer hardware/software, home appliances and mobile phones.
4. A significant point is that 82 percent say there have been times when they have not been able to get the help from a real person.
5. Perhaps one of the most telling statistics is that 52 percent who have not been able to get the help they needed from a real person say it affected their decision to not purchase the product (at least sometimes).
6. Automated assistance is not the answer. About 93% of those who purchased online say they have had a question about an online purchase and over half (58%) say the question cannot be answered from the information on the website at least sometimes,and 16 percent say their question almost always or often cannot be answered.

The statistics tell the story that people are important when in comes to selling even when the selling is online. Most companies know about VoIP and how to tie phones into their Internet site. Maybe these statistics will inspire the companies that have a large presence online to reexamine their online strategy.

The bottom line is that we have not yet achieved the ability to displace people in the sales cycle. Until the computers start acting more human or the population becomes more adjusted to online shopping, the successful companies will make sure that real, live people are available to their online customers.

No comments:


web visitor stats
OptiPlex 755 Desktops