E-Commerce Bounce Charges Triggered by Buyers’ Expectations of High-Notch CX | E-Commerce
By Jack M. Germain
Oct 5, 2021 1:11 PM PT
New research suggests that retailers may not be fully prepared for the expected increase in online shopping and risk a significant buyer drop from their competitors.
The AI-powered personalization platform Qubit announced the results of its survey of 1,500 US and UK consumers in 2021 on September 29th, highlighting the need to improve the online customer experience in retail. Almost three quarters of respondents said the reason they “bounce” or “exit” an ecommerce website is because they can’t find the products they want.
This study shows that 37 percent of respondents say product recommendations are rarely tailored to them, suggesting that marketers may not take full advantage of artificial intelligence.
In August, Qubit released data showing that nearly 86 percent of consumers plan to continue shopping at the same level or more online despite reopening physical stores. Almost a third of shoppers expect to buy even more online in the upcoming Christmas season than in the peak period of 2020.
With the promise of continued ecommerce growth, Qubit’s latest survey results highlight key areas where brands can optimize for the upcoming shopping spike and beyond.
“Consumers are increasingly relying on e-commerce for their shopping needs, and doing so in greater quantities and with more determination than ever before,” said Tracey Ryan O’Connor, Qubit’s chief revenue officer. “The shift to online shopping, which has seen unprecedented growth due to the pandemic, is showing signs of longevity.”
This study underscores the urgency for brands to improve the online shopping experience they provide based on customer feedback and industry best practices, she added.
Optimization is the key solution
Qubit’s report revealed five key areas of concern related to how retailers approach issues from visitors to their sites:
1. Products overwhelm online shoppers
Consumers face challenges in finding the products they want. This is the main reason for leaving a website without making a purchase.
2. Site design and product discovery pose challenges
Buyers cited poor navigation (61 percent) as the main reason for canceling or exiting a website. The results show that buyers are only looking for products page after page. This is noteworthy as brands typically have few pageviews to attract and maintain a buyer’s attention.
3. No room for delays or missteps in online customer service
Top of the list for leaving the site were shipping and return policies (54 percent) and missing reviews (52 percent).
4. Lack of personalization
Buyers continue to expect one-to-one personalization that is not easy to find. 34 percent of shoppers in the US and UK – 41 percent for US respondents only – said they expect recommended products to be tailored specifically for them when they shop online, and 37 percent said that product recommendations rarely give up they are tailored.
5. More focus on mobile shopping
Ease of mobile shopping is a growing sphere of influence for shoppers, especially in the US Mobile shopping appears to be more popular with respondents in the US than in the UK
Mobile e-commerce will only continue to grow globally in the years to come as social media and mobile devices make buying on mobile devices effortless.
Deaf ear or no data?
It is likely that retailers are not listening to customers’ needs. Instead, according to O’Connor, they don’t necessarily know the main reason the site was abandoned.
Retailers are incredibly data driven and constantly review key metrics like conversion rates, RPV or sales per visit, click rates, bounce rates, and exit rates on a weekly, monthly, seasonal, and annual basis. However, you don’t necessarily know the underlying cause of bad or positive metrics because the data itself isn’t the reason for it, she explained.
“The other challenge is that the same metrics are often viewed from different angles, as e-commerce teams and merchandisers often operate in the category of branded ‘silos’ such as clothes, shoes,” said O’Connor the e-trading hours.
Site pages can be updated in different ways, regions, and times. As such, the data is then also decomposed in various ways without revealing the underlying reasons for consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction on a website-wide level, or how different page updates can contribute and affect it, she added.
The study suggests that retailers cannot place all of the blame on supply chain issues. The delay in the supply chain may not be the real culprit. Nor is it that retailers don’t update their online displays to meet the needs of potential customers.
“The biggest realizations are the top reasons a customer bounces off without buying because they can’t find the products they’re interested in, the continued adoption and growth of e-commerce among consumers, and an understanding of the best strategies to enable product discovery and purchase for buyers, “summarized O’Connor.
The delay in the supply chain has been a major challenge for retailers since the pandemic began, she agreed. However, according to Qubit’s consumer research, this is not necessarily the underlying problem for shoppers who may or may not find the products they want.
“The culprit apparently lies in the visibility of the desired products and their presentation on site. That is, how quickly visitors can find a product they want to buy after landing on a trading page, including providing alternatives for those that may be out of stock, “she offered.
If the process doesn’t happen immediately – or shortly after arriving – they won’t look any further for something to buy. Instead, they turn to a competitor’s website where it might be easier.
When you withdraw, it’s very much like the in-store shopping experience in a brick and mortar store. If a shopper walks into the store to buy something and the products are out of order or they can’t quickly find something they’re interested in, they won’t search every inch of the store looking for something to buy , said O’Connor.
“They will likely go and go somewhere else where they can find something more easily,” she said.
Balancing act for brands
The pandemic has accelerated the growth and adoption of e-commerce. That growth includes consumers who are already familiar with online shopping as well as newer shoppers with less online shopping experience, O’Connor observed.
“The key difference for retailers is to understand that continued adoption doesn’t necessarily translate into a satisfying shopping experience. Shopping online is convenient, but convenience alone will not enable retailers to make endless online profits, ”she said.
Brands must continuously keep pace with ever-changing customer expectations and shopping habits. This provides more dynamic and proactive better online shopping experiences to attract new customers and to keep returning, loyal shoppers, she concluded.
One area that shoppers who responded to this survey did not cite as a major reason for leaving retail sites was ease of payment through a chatbot exchange on the retail site.
Today, online consumers generally want fast and smooth service. This now also applies to digital payments, said Joseph Ansanelli, CEO of Gladly. Typically, when they open a chat to ask about a specific product, buyers want to buy the product and complete the transaction directly in the chat without having to go back to their shopping cart and checkout.
“Brands that have equipped their service teams to support customers throughout their journey – offer product advice, suggest additional products based on purchase history and preferences, and now complete sales through digital channels – will be the winners of the next era of retail” he told the E-Commerce Times.