April 25, 2014

Why do shoppers still resist e-commerce adoption?

Written By Martin Sandhu

Toad Footwear Mobile Website

Despite the exponential growth in ecommerce in recent years, and its reputation as the ‘death of the high street’, it seems many shoppers still prefer bricks and mortar to online shopping.

According to The Future of Online Retail Report  just 41% of Brits are completely happy when making purchases online. Over half (59%) said barriers still exist that are holding them back from shopping on the web. It is however, a decline from the same survey in 2012, where some 74% cited barriers holding them back.

So what are the barriers to e-commerce adoption, what is it that puts consumers off?

Poor product images and descriptions

The tactile experience of ‘real-life’ shopping is hard to beat, but detailed product images, a good variety of them and a solid product description goes a long way to overcoming that.

Clothes retailers that show clothes on mannequins rather than models can make it difficult to see fit, and household electrical items with no indication of scale can deter buyers who are conscious of space.


There are many aspects of delivery that confuse shoppers and put them off shopping online. Being clear about shipping prices from the offset is essential; prices that are only highlighted at the end of the checkout process can feel sneaky and lead to abandoned shopping carts.

The delivery provider used can have a huge impact on sales too, as well as limited delivery options, many consumers want items as quickly as possible regardless of what day or time of day they order, or they like to designate a day they know they’ll be in.

Inability to try before you buy

This barrier is hard to overcome for the majority of e-commerce businesses, regardless of the goods they sell. Some industries have managed to navigate it well though; for example many glasses sites now offer a free home trial or a virtual fitting room.

Offering a straightforward returns policy is essential too, giving consumers the confidence that if something isn’t right it will be easy to return or exchange.


According to the survey 19% still don’t believe their details are safe when they enter payment information online.