pexels-photo-26799Imagine trotting round Tesco or John Lewis, filling up your trolley, getting to the checkout, then saying, “You know what, I just can’t be bothered going through with this. I’ll need to queue and hand over my bank card and stuff. I think I’ll just do a spot of in-store fly-tipping instead.”

Personally speaking, I’ve never done this. Perhaps you have. If so, good on you. Britain needs more eccentrics. Maybe you walk your pet lobster on a leash, like Oscar Wilde did.

OK, so abandoning your trolley in real life is a bit weird. So why do we do it online? A new survey of over 1000 UK consumers has found that 80% of respondents have put something in their online basket, then not gone through with the purchase.

Some of the reasons they cite are unexpected shipping costs (53%), which is fair enough. But having to create an account or register (27%)? That’s a bit odd, since buying online generally involves supplying bank details and an address. Not crossing your fingers and waiting for the online retail pixies to find you.

But clearly there’s an issue. Perhaps retailers need to be more transparent right from the off. Buyers expect a logical, seamless and, above all, quick experience. Strangely, they have better things to do than spend half a day supplying you with irrelevant details, like their grandma’s shoe size.

If you think that online checkout isn’t such a big issue, consider this: the survey, by Optimizely, the world’s leading experience optimisation platform, also found that over a third (35%) of UK consumers would turn their backs on a brand following just one bad online retail experience.

That reaction would spill over into real life, too. If you also have bricks-and-mortar stores, 39% of them won’t buy from them, either.

What else did the survey say?

  • In the UK, we spend on average £70.78 online each month
  • 74% want a more personal experience online
  • 72% of respondents cite convenience as a priority
  • Desktop is the preferred device for buying online
  • Main frustrations are difficulty determining size or quality (43%), payment processes (33%), poor site design (26%) and poor navigation (24%).

I’m the least perceptive man in Europe, but here’s what I would do. Use high-quality photography, introduce tried-and-tested payment processes, make your payment design completely logical, then ask for the bare minimum of details to complete purchases.

Marie Despringhere, UK Country Manager, Optimizely, agrees: “It’s clear that ecommerce businesses need to up their game. The issue of basket abandonment also needs to be addressed, as falling short in the final stages of the customer journey quickly detracts from retailers achieving their ultimate goal: securing revenue.

To get their consumers on side, retailers need to be transparent, with not only a clear path to purchase, but also ensure that the consumer is receiving the most optimal customer experience at every stage of the journey.”


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Author Chris Painter

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