They need help, and they need it now! Connecting with the online shopper

A staggering 87% of Australian shoppers need some form of help when shopping online and over 90% would like the help provided to be in real time, preferable in the form of live chat.

And, by the way, you have to help them quickly or they will simply boycott your site. Online shoppers expect access to help within a five-minute time frame, and 54% would give up immediately or only try once when seeking help before an online purchase – ouch.

The ‘Connecting with Customers Report‘, commissioned by LivePerson and conducted by market research firm Loudhouse, has identified that while today’s consumers are highly self-sufficient, more are expecting personalised assistance during their online shopping experience.

“Over a third (36%) of Australian shoppers abandon a website because they have difficulty in getting any help online – the highest of all countries surveyed in our global study – which indicates a huge opportunity for local brands to improve the online customer experience,” says vice president of LivePerson for Asia Pacific, Dustin Dean. “Our research shows that consumers today are demanding a much higher level of engagement throughout their online buying journey.”

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Australian shoppers are less likely to be satisfied with the customer service they receive both in-store and online compared to other markets, with 73% of respondents indicating they are satisfied with customer service when shopping in store, and 64% are satisfied with online customer service,

  • 74% of Australian shoppers are likely to research online before they shop in-store (compared to 78% at a global level), while 23% research on their mobile while in-store (in line with the global average of 24%), and

  • Thirty-two percent of Australian online shoppers say they spend more or the same online as they do in-store.


“Today’s customer journey spans a multitude of channels, both on and offline, adding complexity to the challenge of providing a consistently great experience at each touch point,” says Dean.

“Research shows that regardless of channel, customers want personalised and speedy assistance for a more seamless buying experience. Providing the same intuitive and high-touch in-store experience in digital channels can also prove to be a serious competitive advantage for businesses.”

The research also found that if consumers experience any difficulty in accessing what they want from the site quickly, they will simply leave.

When seeking assistance, 25% expect to get help immediately. Australian shoppers are likely to shop elsewhere or abandon a purchase altogether if they don’t get help in their expected time frame at 53%.

The top five reasons for abandonment of online purchases by Australian shoppers:

  1. Unexpected costs at 69%,

  2. lack of information about a product/service or delivery at 59%,

  3. navigation difficulties at 52%,

  4. wanting to ask questions and not being able to find the answer at 44%, and

  5. difficulty in getting help on a website at 36%.


62% of online shoppers expect access to help within a five-minute time frame, and 54% would give up immediately or only try once when seeking help before an online purchase.

“More so than ever, today’s consumers demand instant gratification, and a speedy resolution of issues is becoming a key differentiator for good customer service among Australian consumers. For brands, this can be seen be as a main driver for increasing the likelihood of purchase, return visits and enhanced levels of customer trust,” Dean says.

Here’s a handy graphic that summarises the findings (click it to enlarge):