- Guy Chiswick |
Recent research from ContentSquare has revealed that the most frequently abandoned online shopping cart item is clothing, with 40 per cent of purchases being discarded at checkout. Coming above technology and homeware purchases (18 and 16 per cent respectively) this is clearly an area that needs attention from the fashion industry.
When online shopping, the checkout page is key to converting sales and so it’s vital that retailers are offering a streamlined service in order to ensure the shopper finalises the purchase. Online shopping basket abandonment can be caused by various obstacles such as complicated payment methods, having to create an account or even being redirected in order to pay.
According to Baymard Institute, the current average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.2 per cent. For online retailers, reducing friction during the checkout process is essential for ensuring the shopper remains engaged, ultimately increasing conversions and sales. Savvy retailers have come up with solutions to this issue. Here are some of the best:
1. Provide multiple options
Technological advancements over the last few years mean that customer expectations have heightened and they now expect to be able to purchase items from wherever and however they wish. Online retailers need to have several payment methods to ensure shoppers won’t abandon their shopping cart because they can’t use their preferred method of payment.
2. Allow guests
According to Karen Pepper, head of the UK at Amazon Pay, thirty-five per cent of online shopping basket abandonment is due to sites asking customers to create accounts. Providing the option to skip this step will help avoid shoppers deserting their shopping basket. Retailers like Apple and Superdrug let users checkout as guests, which is vital in making the process as simple as possible to ensure the shopper goes through with the payment.
3. Spot mistakes for them
According to Invesp, losing customers due to submission errors ranked in the top 10 of conversion problems during checkout. If customers are forced back to the beginning of the process each time a small error is made, they are more likely to give up on the order all together. Retailers are now making errors easy to fix, for example, instead of clearing the data that was already submitted the form may display an error message. This removes friction from the process.
4. Keep it simple
Keeping checkout processes simple is the key to converting sales. Stationary retailer Ryman, for example, slims down the checkout process by only having one checkout page and keeping the details required to a minimum. All details are collected on the one page, without the customer having to be redirected through various different pages before completing the purchase.
5. Securely save their data
Securely saving customer data on the retailer’s website or through a trusted partner means the customer is able to checkout with just a few clicks, streamlining the checkout process. Many retailers are offering this in order to ensure a smooth process for customers. Amazon has gone a step further, by launching its own secure payment solution, Pay with Amazon, to offer retailers a way of storing customer data conveniently and reliably. While this hasn’t seen a huge uptake, it is available to the 300million customers who have an Amazon account and is an example of retailers realising the importance of storing data to prevent cart abandonment.
With more retail spend shifting online, it’s more vital than ever to ensure the checkout process is slick. But it takes more than this to ensure a robust, profitable online business. Recognising that income generated from product margins alone isn’t always enough, many retailers are exploring other options to boost the bottom line. Our Beyond the Core report found that more than two thirds of retailers generate at least 1 percent of their revenue from secondary sources with around 18 percent generating at least a fifth of their revenue this way and a few generating close to half. Cart abandonment isn’t going to go away overnight but the retailers who are savvy about maximising every visit to their website and exploring how customers can drive additional revenue beyond the product margins are the most likely to succeed in today’s competitive landscape.
Guy Chiswick is Managing Director of Webloyalty, Northern Europe. He has 17 years’ experience in marketing and advertising and has worked for some of the industry's biggest brands as well as emerging start-ups.
Guy leads a diverse team of experts focussed on client development and category growth, and has spearheaded Webloyalty's retail and multichannel client engagement strategy since joining in 2010.
Webloyalty is a leading provider of online savings programmes designed to help companies build stronger, more profitable relationships.