The customer experience is essential for improving conversion rates in the e-commerce market. It’s important to make the buying and checkout process as simple as possible, creating fewer barriers to a complete sale.
While online sales have become the new normal for quick and efficient shopping, there’s still room for improvement and growth. Here, we explore the expectations of customers for an easier and more enjoyable checkout experience, and the innovative solutions that are shaping the online marketplace.
It’s never been easier to buy online. Gone are the days where consumers would have to trudge through countless forms, filling in personal details, delivery address, card details, billing addresses, and authentication. Today, many large brands use a more efficient transaction process to help consumers buy their products. It takes just one click.
Frictionless transactions are essential for online shops looking to increase their conversion rate from basket to checkout. Did you know that the average shopping cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.8 per cent? Reducing the barriers to a complete checkout is essential. This is achieved through processes such as one-click shopping, where customer details are stored to allow a speedier buying process. The reduced time prevents any second thoughts on the customer’s part, meaning that businesses can increase their conversion rates. Ultimately, the customer gets the product that we all know they want.
There is potential that this could damage the customer experience. Quicker shopping processes increase the potential for fraud and abuse. Businesses may use checks, such as a captcha, to ensure that customers are legitimate. This is another barrier to a complete checkout that genuine customers may struggle with. Eventually, a customer may abandon their cart. To avoid this, commerce protection platforms such as Signifyd are optimising the transaction experience. Intelligent and automated modules can accurately identify risks of fraud and abuse, stopping them in their tracks, while customers get to enjoy a streamlined order fulfilment process. Overall, the customer experience is improved so much that these automated agents can increase conversion rates by four to six percent on average.
E-commerce is increasing its share of the global retail market. In 2015, online transactions accounted for 7.4 per cent of all retail sales. By 2020, this figure had leapt to 18 per cent. The ease of purchase and variety of choice makes the online world a fierce competitor for traditional brick-and-mortar stores. But being unable to view or experience a product before purchasing may prevent try-before-you-buy shoppers from visiting online stores.
Some stores consider POS lending or Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services as the solution to attracting these customers. At the checkout, customers can opt to pay for their products later. Once they’ve received their products and are satisfied with them, customers can complete the purchase. If they’re not convinced and want to return the products, they can by cancelling the loan without any money leaving their bank account.
These BNPL services work a little differently from loans. They don’t make their money through interest on the loan but instead take a small share of your final bill from the retailer. The tech quickly checks your eligibility before approving your small loan.
This trend is popular among clothing retailers, where customers may want to try a variety of styles and sizes before they commit any money to the purchase. Items that don’t fit or are not suitable can be returned, allowing customers to only pay for what they’ve kept.
Will this trend stick? It’s uncertain, as some European legislators – like the UK Treasury – are beginning to regulate these services. They believe that these small loans should fall under the Financial Conduct Authority. They warn that the BNPL market, valued at £2.7 billion ($3.7 billion), may encourage people to spend more than they can afford. Therefore, this trend may be short-lived or come with greater barriers in the future.
Prioritising the mobile experience
The way we pay continues to change. In-store, we’ve used cash, cards, and now contactless payment. Online, our options are similarly expanding. Where computers and card payments had given rise to e-commerce checkouts, today mobile traffic and digital wallets are helping to improve the customer experience.
As of February 2021, mobile activity made up 56 per cent of all online traffic. Meanwhile, mobile searches equate to 60 per cent of all online searches. It’s clear that mobiles are the most convenient and preferred way to view information online.
However, the e-commerce conversion rate on mobile devices is only 2.25 per cent. Meanwhile, desktop conversion rates stand at 4.81 per cent. The trend for online traffic does not correlate with our e-commerce checkouts. This may be because businesses have not optimised their online checkout for mobile devices. E-commerce businesses must improve the customer experience on mobile devices, understanding how it differentiates from desktop buying.
Digital wallets are one example of an optimised mobile experience. Allowing customers to purchase goods using their mobile-linked bank account means that purchases can be made using the security of fingerprint or facial scanning, automating the process of delivery and billing.
Other checkout trends make the mobile customer experience easier and prevent cart abandonment. Unnecessary buttons which can navigate away from the checkout, such as hamburger menu icons, are removed during the checkout stage. All the buttons needed to complete the transaction should be kept in the ‘thumb zone’ – this means that all essential buttons are within easy reach of a mobile user. This makes the checkout experience more comfortable for the customer and can speed up the checkout process.
Adopting innovative solutions to the e-commerce checkout experience will help drive conversions, improve your business, and assist customers in their buying journey. Understanding how technology is changing and the new ways that we use it ensures that businesses can grow with the e-commerce revolution. Businesses can be proactive in fraud prevention, user experience, and diversifying payment options to create an easy and enjoyable customer experience.