, How to irritate an online shopper or “Philfing”

How to irritate an online shopper or “Philfing”.

July 9, 2007

Given that shoppers are a fickel lot it’s probably best not to annoy them too much, particularly if they have bothered to visit your website. 

However, a survey of 2,400 UK online shoppers commissioned by MoreComputers.com has revealed the irritation many shoppers feel when shopping online. 

Particularly, the most annoying thing an online retailer can do is something called “philfing”. The term ‘philfing’ stands for ‘purposely hiding what I’m looking for’, and the survey found that 93% of UK web users are annoyed by such things as hidden delivery charges or credit card charges.

Other e-commerce practices which irritated shoppers included:

  • Having to register before buying – this annoyed 57% of those surveyed, while 14% said this would make them abandon a purchase.
  • 35% found hidden delivery costs annoying, while this would prevent 64% from buying from a website.
  • No phone number being supplied for the site annoyed almost everyone, and rightly so.  48% found this annoying, while 50% would never purchase anything from such a site.
  • Interestingly, 36% found the type of ‘people who bought this, also bought…’ information typical of Amazon annoying, while 5% said this would put them off buying.

At the end of the day it’s all about trust.  Establishing customers’ trust in the buying process is essential, and it’s difficult to re-establish once it has been broken. Not providing a phone number or hiding extra charges until the customer has gone through the checkout process is guaranteed to break this trust. This is all obvious stuff youo might say but it’s amazing the number of companies ignoring these simple steps.