By Daniel Hunter

According to a survey from Postcode Anywhere of 3,000 consumers across Canada, the US and the UK, UK consumers are more satisfied with online shopping than our transatlantic cousins.

Results showed that four in 10 (39 per cent) North American consumers have had a bad experience with a delivery for an item ordered online, compared with under three in 10 (27 per cent) Brits.

Over the last 12 months, Postcode Anywhere surveyed a sample of consumers on both sides of the pond about their online shopping habits. Orders going to the wrong address, later delivery than expected and items not being delivered at all, all caused problems for consumers within the last year.

The findings come as no surprise to Guy Mucklow, CEO of Postcode Anywhere, who says that it is reflective of an address infrastructure that is far less evolved than that of the UK, with an alarming lack of attention to the data and the quality of technology used on ecommerce websites: “While the US Postal Service address database gives very comprehensive property level coverage of the country and is easy to license, it’s fair to say that most Americans are parochial when it comes to addressing.

“In fact, we found that when asked if they were concerned by poor service, although 38 per cent of US and Canadian consumers said they wouldn’t deal with a company again if they failed to deliver the product they ordered, a surprising 29 per cent would either be neutral about the situation or would purchase again. Compared to 18 per cent of UK respondents, it’s clear American consumers are almost used to receiving a bad service.”

Registration and payment processes for online shopping continues to be a considerable factor in abandoning an ecommerce transaction, but is more likely to stop a UK consumer in their tracks. 37 per cent of UK respondents said that a process issue (such as lengthy forms or the whole experience taking longer than expected) would make them abandon a shopping basket, but the same factors only aggravated 23 per cent of North Americans, who identified shipping charges (76 per cent) and security (57 per cent) as their biggest concerns.

Mucklow continued: “A lot comes down to the different ways in which we capture and validate address data online. While us UK consumers can very often just simply type in a few letters of any part of an address to return the right one, typical North American processes involve the verification of addresses against a reference database after the user has typed it manually. This is obviously a much more tedious way of doing things and, in the fickle manner of a typical online shopper, leads to basket abandonment and lost sales.”

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