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Billions in holiday mcommerce sales at risk due to cart abandonment: report

Merchants and brands could lose out on up to $8.6 billion in mcommerce sales this holiday season due to checkout cart abandonment, according to a new report from Jumio.

With research suggesting that between 47 and 72 percent of consumers experience checkout friction while shopping on mobile and abandon the purchasing process, the stakes will be high during the upcoming holiday shopping season when sales are expected to rise to $616.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Online sales  alone are expected to reach $105 billion this year, pointing to how brands and retailers should take extra efforts to streamline the checkout process and address any issues prior to the start of major online shopping days.

“Simplicity and brevity are the most important things for online and mobile sellers to consider to increase conversions at the checkout point,” said Marc Barach, chief marketing officer of Jumio, Palo Alto, CA. “That means not asking the customer to engage in extraneous processes that divert them in any way from the main mission of completing the sale.

“It’s quite the opposite of the in-person experience, where at a checkout counter the customer is presented with a huge number of impulse buy items.”

Checkout friction
Jumio has found that consumers abandon the checkout process for a multitude of reasons, including slow network speeds and high shipping fees. It claims that although mobile applications have revolutionized the ecommerce experience, the checkout processes have not been kept evolving with mobile technology.

Complicated or flawed checkout can not only lead to billions lost in valuable holiday sales, but deter customers from future purchases as well. Research displayed that 63 percent of guests are less likely to purchase products from the same retailer through purchase channels if they have abandoned their shopping cart after a poor experience.

Half of guests claimed that they abandoned the checkout process because it took too long, while 41 and 23 percent said it was too difficult for a mobile device and the process would not go through, respectively.

Additionally, 57 percent of shoppers will not attempt the same purchase on a desktop later, which accounts for $5.6 to $8.6 billion in lost sales for United States retailers.

“End-user experience is the most important benchmark to focus on, since it’s inclusive of the research, product selection, checkout, and post-sale engagement phases,” said Ari Weil, vice president of products at Yottaa, Boston, MA.

“Retailers can make sure their online and mobile applications are delivered consistently and quickly to all users on all devices. It requires deep development resources to accomplish in-house, but it might be the most important project a retailer takes on before the holidays.”

Streamlined processes
Retailers should ensure that their mobile payment systems are glitch-free ahead of major shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More brands are introducing one or two-step checkouts ahead of the holidays in order to accommodate rushed shoppers with time constraints.

With 20 percent of online sales in the United States during the holiday season projected to take place on mobile, mobile has become a channel that retailers should specially market to – and definitely not avoid.

Jumio is attempting to give retailers a solution for a streamlined checkout process with the introduction of BAM checkout, a credit card and identification scanning technology that it claims provides a frictionless buying experience. Users can simply snap a photo of their credit card and driver’s license and circumvent the hassle of typing in information, leading to a faster checkout process.

“The way merchandise is presented — such as the size of the photo — has a huge impact upon propensity to buy,” Mr. Barach said. “The UI/UX, the user interface and experience, must be designed specifically for each medium – nothing is worse than going to a mobile site and realizing that it is just a small version of the main, online site.

“It takes a while and a fair amount of testing and measurement to get these things right, so if a retailer isn’t ready yet, they need to step on the gas now! In terms of quick changes that retailers can do without much time, effort, or cost – it is certainly beneficial to incorporate processes that eliminate the need for consumer to do key entry into the checkout process. Saving time and effort in this arena produces the highest return on investment.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York