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Christmas Online Sales Hit £2.8bn, with Price and Convenience Driving Almost Half of British Shoppers to Up their Spend in 2010


But Website Errors Hamper Customer Experience, with a Third Abandoning Baskets

  • 44% UK online adults spent more online for Christmas 2010 compared to 2009

  • 45% of those who shopped online encountered website problems while doing their Christmas shopping

  • 34% of UK adults avoid buying from a website they’ve heard negative things about

London, Jan 7, 2011: New research reveals that 44% of Britain’s online adult population upped their online spending this Christmas compared to 2009, pushing the total amount spent online to £2.8bn, highlighting convenience (58%), stress reduction (52%) and cheaper prices (52%) as the top reasons for doing more shopping on the web. However, many websites failed to live up to this increased ecommerce appetite, according to the survey commissioned by Online Customer Experience Management (CEM) specialist Tealeaf®; 45% of web shoppers encountered online issues this Christmas and almost a third (32%) abandoned internet transactions entirely.

Tealeaf’s research reveals the majority of online shoppers ditched their baskets due to issues with the purchasing or checkout process.  Problems and errors on a website were a key area of customer struggle, causing 13%, or 5.3 million online consumers, to abandon their purchases. Delivery prices (13%) and timings (8%) also contributed to this problem, as shoppers searched for companies who could fulfil by Christmas.

When asked how they would react if they experienced a problem online, 46% of British shoppers said they would be less likely to buy from that company again.  Almost one in ten (9%) Brits also agreed they have shared online shopping experiences via social media, which doesn’t bode well for those websites offering a less than adequate service, with 34% also saying they wouldn’t buy from a site they had heard negative things about.

John Lillie, Vice President of Tealeaf comments: “Online retailers take a significant proportion of their annual revenues in the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy. Despite the potential gains up for grabs, retailers without a cohesive customer experience management strategy in place are still literally putting obstacles in the way of their customers successfully buying from them, in the form of unattended website errors and complicated checkout processes. In addition to denting e-commerce revenues in the short term, these avoidable mistakes are also damaging consumer trust, as well as brand reputation, leading to long-term revenue losses.”


The Tealeaf/YouGov survey has been conducted using an online interview administered by members of the YouGov Plc GB panel to 300,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. An email was sent to panellists selected at random from the base sample according to the sample definition, inviting them to take part and providing a link to the survey.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2122 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th and 29th December 2010.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

All population estimates based on UK adult population of 41m (source Wolfram Alpha).

About Tealeaf
Tealeaf provides online customer experience management solutions and is the unchallenged leader in customer behaviour analysis. Tealeaf's CEM solutions include both a customer behaviour analysis suite and customer service optimization suite. For organizations that are making customer experience a top priority, these solutions provide unprecedented enterprise-wide visibility into every visitor's unique online interactions for ongoing analysis and web site optimization. Online executive stakeholders from ebusiness and IT to customer service and compliance are leveraging Tealeaf to build a customer experience management competency across the organization. Founded in 1999, Tealeaf is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and is privately held. For more information, visit

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