Survey shows UK buyers struggle to be understood


  • 43% of UK shoppers say chatbots rarely or never understand them and 28% leave a website and look elsewhere when the chatbot does not provide answers
  • 64% of UK shoppers research online often or always before making a purchase, with 53% looking for reviews on a brand’s website and 26% looking for branded content
  • More than half (59%) of shoppers in the UK and US plan to avoid personal purchases as much as possible or less than before COVID. to visit personal shops

SAN FRANCISCO, June 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Lucidworks, Provider of the Connected Experience Cloud, shared the results of a survey of 800 respondents on shopper behavior and preferences in the UK and US with future in-store shopping. Buyers are ready for an experience as diverse as they are; This includes advanced chatbot capabilities, various recommendations with content, and personalized experiences that understand who they are and what they like.

Buyers want enhanced chatbot functionality and understanding
Although chatbots are primarily used for customer service, more than half of UK shoppers also want to use chatbots to connect with a representative for advice and 45% want help finding specific products. The use of chatbots is pretty widespread, with two-fifths of UK shoppers reporting that they use a website’s chatbot frequently or every time they visit. Unfortunately, frequent use does not lead to satisfaction, as over 40% of respondents say that chatbots rarely or never understand them.

Deploying a chatbot is not enough, and a sub-par experience can actually do more harm than good. Brands need to improve their game and invest in machine learning and natural language processing to expand the functionality of a chatbot so that shoppers can naturally ask questions and get instant, relevant, and contextual answers.

Consumers seek recommendations for branded content
Product recommendations are a proven approach to enhancing the consumer shopping experience and increasing the average order value for brands. The overwhelming majority of shoppers (78%) in the UK and US always or often interact with product recommendations, and 58% of UK shoppers say they buy featured items with every visit or frequently that they originally didn’t want to buy.

However, buyers also signaled that suggested content, including how-tos and DIY guides, expert recommendations, and product videos, is particularly useful during the research phase of a customer journey. Almost two-thirds of UK shoppers always or often do their research before making a purchase. Reviews from other customers were the most popular, with around a quarter of respondents reviewing branded content on the website before purchasing. Although this type of unstructured content is more difficult to recommend for legacy commerce technology environments, posting relevant content builds trust with buyers and keeps them on the site longer.

Customer loyalty depends on product quality, personalization and customer service
Many of the shopping habits that were adjusted last year will continue after the restrictions have been lifted. For example, 39% of UK shoppers plan to show up in personal stores less than before COVID. The willingness to return to the branches in person varied depending on the industry.

Clothing appears to be more resilient than other industries. Although two-thirds of UK shoppers now buy clothes or clothes online for delivery, more than half of shoppers (59%) plan to buy clothes or clothes primarily in person as restrictions are lifted. This differs from electronics, where only 26% of UK respondents plan to primarily buy electronics in person after the COVID restrictions are lifted. Brands must continue to invest in digital experiences to replace or increase pedestrian traffic and regain customer loyalty.

Loyalty is a challenge when customers have unlimited options online. Buyers in the UK and US agree that high product quality, personalized recommendations and excellent customer service are the top three reasons they stay loyal to brands. Brands need to create connective tissue across all channels and deliver real-time customer insights to employees so that they can improve the customer experience, including website experience, product quality, and customer support, to retain shoppers over the long term. Additionally, greater customer insights enable more productive employees and better combine the customer experience with the employee experience to improve the overall brand experience.

“The survey confirms what we already know as consumers; Buyers come to a website for a variety of purposes, whether it be to shop for themselves or their 10 year old, seek assistance with a return, or seek expert advice on a DIY project, ”said Peter Curran, General Digital Commerce Manager, Lucidworks. “The buyer lives in multiple people. To create a great customer experience, you need to understand the consumer’s goal in the moment. The ability to leverage first-party data and session inference are key to a great experience. Brands need to connect the dots between all of the actions a buyer takes to understand their goal and deliver the most relevant experience from research to purchase to support and back. “

Other important results of the survey are:

  • 44% of UK shoppers use a website’s chatbot to find a product
  • 64% of UK shoppers always or often click a relevant post or ad on social media to get recommended products
  • The majority of UK shoppers are most likely to subscribe to email and social media channels for their favorite brands, and least likely to subscribe to text or video streaming channels
  • 60% of respondents in the UK and US interact with recommended products on the product page of the site, half on the home page and 38% on the shopping cart page
  • Buyers in the US and UK prefer to keep business unchanged after the COVID-19 illness, but keep some COVID protocols, including physically remote queues and contactless payments

The Lucidworks survey was conducted this May using Pollfish, a self-service survey tool, and was limited to respondents who shop online at least once a week. 400 respondents from the UK and 400 respondents from the US participated. Download the full survey report today.

About Lucidworks
Lucidworks offers the Connected Experience Cloud (CXC), which captures user signals from every action and applies them to digital experiences everywhere. CXC combines the power of search and machine learning to personalize experiences that match the unique intentions of employees and customers. The world’s largest brands, including Lenovo, Red Hat, Reddit, and Cisco Systems, rely on Lucidworks’ suite of products to support product discovery, customer service, and knowledge management applications that delight customers and empower employees. Learn more at


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