September 25, 2015

Turning cart abandonment into sales

There’s no doubt about it, online shopping is an unstoppable force. Ecommerce sales grew by 13 per cent in July 2015 compared to July 2014 with UK shoppers spending on average £7.1bn a week on ecommerce transactions. But for retailers looking to make sure every visit, every click, every ‘add to basket’ counts, abandonment at check-out is one of the biggest concerns.

This habit of indecisive, price conscious shoppers has cost the retail industry an estimated $4 trillion worth of goods in the first quarter of 2015 and is an unwelcome burden on eCommerce worldwide. Many retailers have attempted to reduce this loss by sending basket abandonment emails to those who left the site without purchasing their items. But this technique only tackles the issue after the customer has left. The problem needs to be targeted head on and solved at the source.

At Connexity we carried out global research on over 60,000 eCommerce shoppers to uncover the truth behind basket abandonment. Using this insight we’ve developed some handy tips for retailers to help encourage shoppers to follow through and purchase their basketed goods. But first we must understand; what was holding these shoppers back from finalising their purchases in the first place?

Nearly a third (32%) of shoppers chose to abandon their online experience at the checkout. For these shoppers, 13 per cent said it was due to web technical problems, 10 per cent were still deciding if they wanted to buy and 8 per cent said it was because the desired item/colour/size was not available.

Of the 18 per cent of shoppers who abandoned their shopping at their basket, 12 per cent said it was because they were saving the items to buy later and 10 per cent said they were still deciding if the product(s) was what they wanted. And finally, 7 per cent said that it was because the total cost ended was too high.

So how much does cost affect a customer’s decision to buy? We asked our respondents whether their decision to purchase was affected by discount offers. A resounding 59 per cent said that if they were offered a discount of 20 per cent or less off their shopping cost, they would follow through and purchase their basketed goods. Interestingly, for the 32 per cent of shoppers who abandoned their visit at the checkout, 8 per cent did so because they were unable to redeem a coupon.

But what more can retailers do to encourage these abandoners to stay on the site and complete their purchase?

Lend a hand. Of the 21 per cent of respondents who said that the reason they left their online experience was that they couldn’t find the item they were looking for, 62 per cent said a merchant offering to locate the right item, colour or size would help them purchase.

Ensure to make consumer’s online experience as simple and seamless as possible, to increase the likelihood of consumers revisiting the site. Support shoppers by steering them in the direction of a similar product or offer an alternative route to help complete their purchasing journey.

Meet expectations. Of the 17 per cent who abandoned their purchase because the item/colour/size was out of stock, 77 per cent said a merchant offering to locate the right item, colour or size would help them complete their purchase.

If the item is out of stock, help the user to complete their purchase by offering store alternatives. With increased competition coming from competitors of a high calibre, brands must now do everything in their power to retain customer engagement. By offering to source their item elsewhere, you’re reducing the chance of the customer choosing another retailer to buy the same item.

Visible offers. 9 per cent of shoppers who intended to buy, but didn’t, said that the total basket price was too high, consequently putting them off the entire shop. Of this 9 per cent, 59 per cent said a discount code for 20% or less would have helped them complete the purchase.

To help consumers make a final decision on purchasing goods, ensure to notify them to the current offers your brand is running. Whether this relates to a percentage off the total amount of goods, or if it’s eliminating the delivery charge, reducing the total amount a consumer has to spend on their shopping is likely to contribute to them completing their purchase.

Research has shown that a poor shopping experience cost the UK retail industry around £6 billion in abandoned sales last year.

It is first and foremost important for retailers to view the purchase journey as a holistic experience. This means critical attention needs to be paid at every single point along the journey, from start to finish. The error many retailers make is to place too much emphasis on securing customer’s initial interest and then failing to continue this engagement along the purchase funnel.

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