How to Stem the Flow of Abandoned Online Shopping Carts
Here’s a million dollar question. When someone does get to your website and is about to enter their payment card details and place an order, why do they abandon the purchase?
An American Express survey found that 78% of consumers bailed on a transaction or didn’t make an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. Millennials are not afraid to leave a company. Up to 25% of this age group will leave a company after just one single bad experience.
In a BrandPerfect survey from 2012, if a website page took too long to load, visitors left.
In the same study, 41% of U.S. respondents said the number two reason for leaving was “Difficulty of site use/navigation”.
Number three was “too many steps to purchase”, with 37%. Too many clicks required to buy also falls into this category. Forcing consumers to sign up for an account should too.
That was in 2012. Fast forward to today and despite leaps in technology, not a great deal has changed. For sure, ubiquitous, fast internet connections have improved web page loading, but the underlying service problems are still the same and more than half (52%) of consumers wish the entire process could be shorter.
The majority of consumers do not share poor online shopping experiences with the organization; they simply move on to a competitor or Tweet and socialize it so, an organization not hearing about poor experiences cannot assume all is well. Looking at the numbers; only 4% of unhappy customers tell you they aren’t satisfied, and 91% will never return. Stands to reason; a consumer that’s just had a frustrating experience is unlikely to spend more time sharing it.
What these findings highlight is that a poor online shopping experience affects bottom line profits, and most organizations don’t realize they have a problem. So how can things be turned around? By doing something to pleasantly surprise the customer so they realize that their business is valued by the organization. For example, some sites entice you back when you try to click away from their page. Other pop-ups may kick in when the mouse or keyboard have been inactive for a while. Some try to engage you with a customer service advisor using web chat or virtual assistants.
These all are encouraging steps in the right direction, but won’t necessarily lead to online sales nirvana because, with the consumer’s finger hovering over the Submit button, these are technologies not solutions. And there is no context for the interaction. No context means the customer service advisor has little or no information on who is the consumer, what’s their question, what were they doing on the website, what’s in their cart, what pages were visited, what data was input into a form, what errors occurred, and more. Without context, what was meant to be helpful could actually result in adding to customer frustration and an already bad experience.
An interaction with strong context can be delivered by something ingenious called proactive online sales engagement. Online sales engagement simultaneously opens both voice and digital channels for the consumer and agent to communicate, clarify product queries, confirm shipping details, complete forms together, digitally sign documents, send digital forms of consumer identification, and perform other activity essential to smoothing the way to completing the transaction.
No more waiting for the consumer to mail a copy of their id, or for an email to arrive from the organization because, with online sales engagement, it all happens in real time. Online sales engagement is like having a trusted, friendly advisor sitting next to the consumer to assist and guide them, up to and beyond the final part of the shopping transaction. Service quality must be outstanding before, during and after a purchase. Companies that make the extra effort to rescue and save abandoned online shopping carts are ones that are winning.
Providing omnichannel customer support over multiple communication channels has become standard operating procedure, so is now the time for contact centers to take the next step and provide an online sales engagement solution and directly address the issue of abandoned online shopping carts? What’s your take?
By Karnail Jita