No free returns and a frustrating checkout process will be the biggest turn offs when shopping online this Black Friday for 50% and 45% of consumers respectively, according to new research commissioned by Emarsys.

Other major turn offs include poor customer service experience (41%), inaccurate product images or not seeing the item shown (39%), a difficult or lengthy returns process (33%), spam communication (31%) sizing discrepancies/having no size guide (30%), slow delivery (25%) and an inconvenient click and collect process (23%).

On the flipside, the biggest motivators for shopping online during Black Friday include free delivery (65%), speed of delivery (21%), free returns/ease of returns (17%) and the size of the discount (16%). 

“These findings highlight the rising consumer importance given to the purchase and post purchase experience online as lockdowns continue to drive ecommerce traffic,” Emarsys managing director for Asia Pacific, Adam Ioakim said.

“Offering a discount might reel the customer in, but it won’t encourage them to stick around if the purchasing and delivery process doesn’t meet their expectations. Being able to find the right product online must be seamless, it needs to be available immediately and it must arrive at their door in a matter of days, not weeks. If the product isn’t right for them, the consumer wants a cost-free and convenient returns process.”

Yet additional Emarsys research reveals most Aussie marketers (40%) are planning to actively encourage customers to shop online rather than in-store. A further 29% of marketers have considered cancelling physical Black Friday events due to COVID.   

When asked what their key loyalty strategies are to retain Black Friday customers this year, most marketers indicated they would be entering customers into lifecycle programs or campaigns (38%), followed by providing dynamic product recommendations (22%), offering a loyalty program (16%) and giving customers a great post purchase experience (16%).

“It’s interesting to see that among the key loyalty strategies, offering a great post purchase experience is the strategy least invested in, yet the research also shows that consumers are telling us it’s one of the most important factors in the customer journey. This disconnect suggests retailers ought to be examining the last mile customer experience they are offering,” Ioakim added.

While almost half of consumers (48%) claim to be more likely to seek out Black Friday deals compared to last year, 27% stated they had less money to spend this year. At the same time, almost half plan to spend around the same amount as last year.  

Most consumers (62%) plan to spend money on clothing this Black Friday, followed by electronics (44%), household appliances (28%), beauty products (27%) and toys (23%). Many consumers (28%) are planning to spend between $100 and $200 on Black Friday, while a further 18% plan to spend up to $300.