Customers will drop digital retail services after one bad experience, Applause survey reveals

Applause digital experience survey

A global survey conducted by testing and digital quality provider Applause in January, reveals customers will leave a digital service based on only one poor experience and nearly two thirds will abandon a digital service or online payment because of a difficult sign-up process.

Applause surveyed 4,298 members of its uTest community, of vetted and remote testers, about their experiences signing up for new digital services across banking, retail, media and entertainment to assess the customer experience and journey.

The results of the survey conducted in January 2022 show that the vast majority of users will decide to leave a digital service based on only one less-than-ideal experience and nearly two-thirds will leave because of a poorly constructed sign-up experience. With digital interactions front and centre for brands, success depends on designing experiences around new customers’ high expectations and low patience during this critical touchpoint. Three industries (financial services, retail, and media and entertainment) represented more than half of all new digital service accounts opened in the previous thirty days.

“Customers have ever-shrinking limits to their digital patience,” said Applause Chief Growth Officer, Luke Damian. “This raises the stakes that every brand must exceed in delivering engaging digital quality. Every customer journey is unique which makes testing each customer experience increasingly more complicated. There are so many different friction points along a journey that combine the physical and digital world. If you don’t get it right, you can not only hurt the customer experience, but also do even greater long-term damage to the brand and the business.”

Survey results of 4,298 respondents from more than 200 countries include:

  • 64% had created two or more new digital service accounts in the previous month
  • 65% abandoned a digital service because the sign-up process was too difficult
  • 55% reported experiencing a digital process that took too long or had too many steps
  • 32% said they experienced a digital process was unclear

The survey also highlighted that the numbers would have been even worse. When asked why they didn’t abandon the process, participants typically reported that the account was required (such as those for employment, schools, etc.) or they could not get the same product or service elsewhere. 

Active in more than 200 countries, the Applause community of vetted digital testers empowers brands to capture and keep more customers by delivering authentic, real-world feedback on the state of their digital quality.