Survey Of The Obvious: Consumers Don't Like Failed Transactions

Survey results released Wednesday officially report what virtually all E-Commerce execs already knew: It doesn't take very many bad online experiences to send a consumer to a rival site.

Web-traffic-tracking firm Gomez surveyed 1,173 people in the U.S. last month and found 24 percent will abandon a Web site after the first failed transaction, while most consumers—53 percent—will come back a second time, but will ditch the site after they are burned a second time. About 17 percent of consumers will come back a third time and it will take a third purchase failure to turn them away. (I want to get that last group into a poker game.)

The survey also suggested that 75 percent would immediately jump ship if a site loaded too slowly. Beyond the official reality disclaimer that consumers tend to tell surveyers what they want to tell the sites and not necessarily what they'll actually do--and that Gomex charges retailers to track online performance so they may not be the most non-biased source for how quickly consumers will abandon slow sites--the results here are likely fair. But if an E-Commerce exec needs a survey to learn that customers will be unhappy if their transactions fail, that exec should probably rethink their dayjob.