San Francisco - The results of a newly released consumer survey commissioned by TeaLeaf Technology Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive indicate that online transaction failures can have a detrimental impact on businesses, forcing customers to abandon transactions.The study, which focused on consumer transaction experiences on shopping, banking, travel and insurance Web sites, found the vast majority of online consumers (89%) say they experience problems when conducting online transactions.

The data also reveals that the majority of online consumers (82%) are unwilling to accept a lower level of customer service when comparing online and offline transactions. In addition, more than one in three (34%) would turn to a competitor, either online (27%) or offline (14%), if they experienced a problem when conducting an online transaction.

Some commonly experienced transaction problems included error messages (40%), a poorly navigable Web site (37%), the inability to complete a transaction due to an endless loop (31%) and difficulty logging onto the site (31%).

Only 3% of online consumers felt Web page download speed contributed most to a positive customer experience online.  

"Any flaw in your Web site, from a transaction failure to a link that doesn't deliver on its promise, costs your business.  It reduces your ROI, damages customer loyalty and undermines the brand experience," according to marketing expert Bryan Eisenberg, co-founder of Future Now Inc.

"Today, even the most sophisticated companies are forced to depend on their customers to report online failures versus proactively identifying issues impacting their customers.   This can lead to unidentified problems that negatively impact business results," says Rebecca Ward, chairman and CEO, TeaLeaf.

Among other findings, the study shows that, regardless of the type of transactions consumers have conducted, online U.S. adults who have conducted an online transaction in the past year generally share similar perspectives on dealing with problems they might encounter.

·   Among those who have conducted an online transaction in the past year, Web site security (25%) and ease of completing the transaction (20%) are the most commonly cited factors believed to contribute most to a positive customer experience when conducting a transaction online. In contrast, only 3% feel Web page download speed contributes most to a positive customer experience when conducting a transaction online.

·   More than nine in 10 online shoppers (89%), bankers (93%), travelers (94%), or insurance-related (94%) customers experience problems when conducting an online transaction.

·   Among online consumers who experience problems when conducting online transactions, 49% of those who have conducted insurance-related business online, 41% of shoppers, 42% of travelers, and 41% of those who have conducted financial transactions received error messages.

Harris Interactive fielded the online survey on behalf of TeaLeaf between October 18 and 20, 2005 among a nationwide sample of 1,859 online U.S. adults ages 18 and over who have conducted an online transaction in the past year. The data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. online adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity.

Source: TeaLeaf Technology Inc.

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