UPDATED 08:14 EST / DECEMBER 13 2013

ClickFox says consumers prefer to shop online

Thanks to a tidal wave of disruption led by the proliferation of mobile devices, crowded malls and packed aisles are making way for seamless – and indeed more pleasant – online shopping experiences. In its second annual Holiday Customer Service Audit, ClickFox provides fresh insight into the state of e-commerce and the steps brick-and-mortar businesses must take to stay relevant in the digital era.

After surveying 500 individuals, the analytics firm found that 55 percent of consumers will do most of their shopping online this holiday season. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, with poor customer support, pesky sales floor representatives and an often painful refund process deterring many from visiting a physical store on a normal day, let alone during the Black Friday rush.

Drilling deeper into the data, ClickFox discovered that 32 percent of shoppers are likely to respond to negative service experiences by contacting management. One in five will follow up with a written complaint instead, but only 16 percent will go as far as posting a negative review online. The latter figure is underpinned by the fact that 70 percent of the participants denied social media influences their shopping decisions, compared to 19 percent who admitted Facebook has an impact on theirs.

Most notably, respondents said that competitive pricing should be the number one priority for retailers. Surprisingly, having the best customer service ranked lowest on the opinion poll.

“A company needs to be able to uncover hidden trends among customers’ complete experiences to accurately identify broader service, product, or operational hiccups and prevent unnecessary service costs attributed to customer dissatisfaction,” ClickFox vice president of marketing Jeff Gossman wrote on SiliconANGLE after the 2012 holiday season. “With customer journey management infrastructure, organizations can quickly analyze what common drivers lead to negative service experiences and develop best practices to implement across service teams holistically.”

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