Retailers are failing to offer customers a straightforward online checkout process, according to the results of a new study.
Key stats from the report:
• 33% of retailers do not offer ‘guest checkout’, and require customers to register before completing the purchase
• Customers have to navigate an average of five pages to complete the check-out process
• Only 7% of retailers allow shoppers to change product attributes such as colour or size during the check-out process
• 38% of retailers only reveal the total cost of the items *just* before the purchase, which leads to many customers aborting the order completely
• 59% of UK retailers don’t send basket reminders to customers
• 22% of UK retailers only send one basket reminder email to re-engage shoppers
Complex registration, no purchase
The study finds that the online checkout process is overly complex. A third (33%) of retailers surveyed do not offer a ‘guest checkout’ option and instead require customers to register in order to make a purchase. Customers also have to click through an average of five pages to complete the checkout process. In some cases, retailers spread the checkout process across as many as nine pages.
Georges Berzgal, managing director of Bronto Software Europe, comments: “The shopping basket is a pivotal moment in online commerce – it’s the point at which sales are converted or aborted. Many retailers in the UK are losing customers at the last hurdle due to the length and complexity of the checkout process. The fact that no retailer offered a true one-step checkout is indicative of an industry which is yet to fully provide a transparent, easy and convenient purchasing experience.”
Customer clarity is key
Retailers are also on the back foot when offering customers the opportunity to change their order during the checkout process. Only 7% of retailers allow shoppers to change product attributes such as colour or size, and one in ten (10%) retailers do not give shoppers a way to change the quantity of products once in the basket.
More than one-third (38%) of retailers expose their customers to ‘sticker shock’ by revealing the total cost of the items just before purchase. This can be a major factor behind shopping basket abandonment. However, the other 62% display a preview of the shopping basket, allowing shoppers to adjust product details and to keep an eye on the running total.
Shopping basket reminders
Basket reminder emails are an effective way of re-engaging shoppers who have abandoned their purchase. However, the majority (59%) of UK retailers don’t send basket reminders to customers, highlighting a key area for improvement. Furthermore, 22% of UK retailers only send one basket reminder email to re-engage shoppers. An email series would enable retailers to employ a variety of messages and promotional strategies such as offering incentives or customer support to complete the order.
“We know that basket abandonment rates are on the rise and to tackle this retailers need to widen their focus and offer customers a personalised, transparent and straightforward checkout experience,” said Berzgal. “Successfully re-engaging customers who have abandoned the order process is critical. Bronto customers who adopt a data-driven, targeted approach in the form of a basket reminder email series can recover as much as 25% of abandoned revenue and typically see a 50x return on investment. It should be a key component of a commerce marketer’s arsenal.”