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‘No second chances’ say silver surfers

Over 55-year-old shoppers are less likely to give online retailers a second chance if they encounter a problem than their younger counterparts, according to new research.

An online survey of 1,928 UK adults carried out by market research organisation YouGov for logistics company Norbert Dentressangle revealed that a quarter would not order from a retailer again if they received an incorrect or damaged item.

The 55 and over category is expected to account for 62% of all retail growth (£48.7bn) over the next decade. But only 44% of respondents in this group said they would make a repeat purchase following a problem, compared to 55% of 18-24s.

The majority (44%) of those surveyed reported there was no change in online service since an initial study in August 2012, while 42% felt service had improved and 5% believed it had declined in the last two years.

Almost three-quarters (70%) of respondents said other people’s feedback about a retailer influenced their purchasing decision, rising to 81% for regular Twitter users.

Despite the concerted efforts by many etailers to extend the ordering window, only 31% of those questioned felt late ordering cut-off times were important. Almost half (46%) said the quality of packaging and overall presentation of their online purchase affected their buying decisions.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) said free return postage was the most important factors in a returns policy, followed by a clear and simple process (52%).

Mark Catley, head of development for Norbert Dentressangle Logistics UK, said: “Consumers are no more forgiving than they were two years ago and this appears to be especially true of the older generation.

“The factors which can make or break the customer’s experience remain unchanged – they expect the right product in the right place at the right time for the right price, everytime. Offering this ‘certainty’ is critical to brand loyalty and advocacy which, in turn, are critical to online retail success.”

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