5 customer pain-points to watch in 2020 and how to solve them.

With the surge of COVID-19 and the consequent need to digitalise more and more areas of our lives, there’s been a peak on the amount of customer journeys taking place exclusively online

As a result of increased online shopping, there’s also been an increase in the volume of online buyers' pain-points. 

In fact, Smart Shopper, a study commissioned by Google and conducted by KANTAR this year, has found that 33% of Dutch consumers and 35% of Swedish consumers faced an issue while shopping online in 2020, compared to last year’s 24% and 27% respectively. 


One of the natural responses we’ve seen to these periods of uncertainty and isolation has been significant changes in shopping behaviours such as bulk and panic buying or a huge growth in online shopping. 

According to data from Digital Commerce 360 U.S online spending grew 30.1% YoY for the first six months of 2020 (that’s $60.42 billion!), while it only grew 12.7% the previous year.  

With that said, it’s only logical that this shift in the way people are buying (shifts in volume, frequency, channels, platforms…), has also resulted in an increase of customer pain-points. 


But what are customer pain-points and why do they matter? 

A customer pain-point is a frustration or problem (whether it’s real or perceived) that your prospective customer faces at any point in their customer journey. They matter because they can either present an opportunity for you to solve and make your customers happy, or become the reason why they don’t buy from you

Pain-points can be as diverse as your customers themselves and change constantly, driven by advances in technology, and growing expectations about speed, convenience and delivery. However, the majority of the pain-points found by the 2020 Smart Shopper study were caused by inconvenient user experiences

So in this blog post we have listed the 5 main pain-points that were the source of those negative user experiences and give you actionable tips on how you can avoid them in your leisure eCommerce. 


1. Pricing. 

Unclear or hidden costs at the end of the purchase: Imagine your customer follows through your purchasing flow up until the last step and just because you were not up-front with your fees and total costs, they decide not to finish their purchase when they’re unpleasantly surprised by extra added costs on the payment screen. This happens more often than not, and it can cost you more deals than you can imagine.  

Actionable tip: Clearly show and break down the costs of each item (and their possible variations) on the first screens of the purchase flow. Don’t hold delivery or payment fees until the end. If you cannot avoid it because, for example, the delivery fee depends on the location, make sure to state this at the beginning of your purchase flow.  


Prices that are unable to adapt to the market’s changes and specific venue’s circumstances: Markets and daily conditions change constantly, but even more so during a pandemic like the one we’re going through. With governments enforcing different restrictions and regulations overnight, your prices should take into account that your experience -and its value for your customers- can be completely affected. In addition, weather conditions, such as the heat waves that some locations in Europe have undergone this summer or days of heavy rain, can also have great impact on the experience you offer.

The lack of flexibility in your prices, not being able to adapt to this shift in your experience’s value, can result in the rise of a pain-point for your customers (whether they’re consciously aware of it or not). 

Actionable tip: Consider implementing dynamic and real-time pricing strategies that will allow your prices to adjust to the ever-changing market conditions so that you can always show a fair price to your customers while still optimising for revenue.  

Learn how with this related read: Join the Dynamic Pricing Revolution [A Starter Pack]


2. Product cost & availability.

If your prospective customers can’t know when a product’s inventory or availability is low, they can’t manage their expectations regarding how packed the venue will be on their day of visit, the effect on the cost of the experience, the urgency to make their purchase and so on

Actionable tip: Use a software that can help you not only manage your inventory and availability internally, but also show your prospective customers the inventory status for each of your offered products. Use tags such as “plenty left”, “only a few left”, “almost sold out” and so on. This will improve expectation management and therefore, help increase your conversions. 


3. Check-out friction.

Things like screens that take ages to load or break, not being able to modify an order without leaving the flow, unresponsive support, or not having easy-to-select all in one options such as bundle offers that adapt to specific customer needs (family bundles, student or people with disabilities offers etc.) can cause friction and frustration for your customers and prevent them from finishing their purchase. 

Actionable tips: 

  • Check the health of your site’s speed regularly and use tools that will improve it. Think that the average customer’s attention span is no more than 15 seconds and that on mobile, 53% of customers abandon a site that takes over 3 seconds to load. 
  • Make sure your check-outs UX is as simple as it can be and that it simplifies the process for your user. Reduce steps and unnecessary clicks as much as you can. Go through the flow yourself or ask for feedback from people external to your team and see if they find it as seamless as you think to make a purchase or if on the contrary, they encounter issues. 
  • Within the check-out or at some stage within the purchase process, show links to additional information wherever it’s needed (keep your knowledge base or FAQ up to date), and provide a support contact that will connect the user with a responsive team. 
  • If you can, bundle up your offers into products that are applicable to your specific customer categories or groups. This way, instead of having to purchase all the products separately, they will be able to save time by clicking on an option that already understands and includes the items that are usually purchased for that specific customer category. 

If you want further details, this related read right here can give you additional information on how to improve your user experience and reduce friction. 


4. Confusing check-out flows.

Insufficient product information, not understanding what items they have exactly purchased or how they need to purchase them, as well as spending too much time searching for the product they want to buy, are all quite common customer pain points that can get in the way of closing a sale. 

Actionable tip: Your experience or product’s description should be comprehensive and deliver trust and validity to your prospective customers. If they’re confused about what the experience exactly offers or they don’t know how to purchase it, they may abandon their cart. 


So ask yourself:

  • Does the content you are showcasing in your check-out make sense? 
  • Is it simple for your customers to discover your experience catalogue and find what they need? 
  • Do they need to jump through hoops to complete a purchase?
  • Is the path from point A to point B within the check out intuitive and logical? 

5. Multi-channel shopping.

Not being able to shop across different devices, unresponsive check-outs that offer a lousy mobile experience, and not being able to easily save their tickets and visit information on their phone are all a big turn-off for today’s digital-savvy customers. 

Actionable tip:
Make sure that your check-out supports mobile purchases and that the purchase process is as seamless as on desktop in the rest of the devices. Aim for a booking solution that will enable you to centralise your order and customer data all in one place no matter what type of device the purchase was made through. 


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So, now that you know what the most common issues faced by online shoppers are these days, what are you currently doing to address them? Does your online check-out successfully address these pain-points or are some of your customers potentially still struggling with them? 


If they are, the good news is most of these frustrations can be addressed quickly and efficiently in the short term! You just need to fold up your sleeves and get down to work with these actionable tips we just presented, because the time to numb these pain-points and turn them into a phenomenal opportunity that will transform your online shopping experience is now

If you need help with any of it, you know where to find us, we’re always happy to guide you along the way towards improving your online performance.