Today the average person spends 10 hours and 39 minutes in front of a screen. Whether that be a phone, tablet, computer, or television, any way you dice it the average person is connected for nearly half of their day. The good news for retailers is that this connected time provides firsthand insight into just what their customers are doing online.
In the age of the connected customer, where retailers have access to myriads of consumer data and can track behaviors, creating online experiences that are exactly what customers want should be a piece of cake. Yet somehow there is a large disconnect between what customers expect of the ecommerce shopping journey and what retailers provide, creating major customer pain points.
For customers, their expectation isn’t measuring up to experience. And retailers are reacting. 98% of retailers planned to invest in their customer experience this year. But it’s not how much they invest, it’s what they are investing in and how it can fix existing pain points.
For retailers looking to invest in their online experience, here are the 6 major ecommerce checkout pain points that are often overlooked and can be quick wins to fix.
Inconsistency between channels
Today’s customer is a multi-channel maven. Retailers have been obsessed with omnichannel for the past few years, and the ability to cater to customers shopping both in-store and online. However, in the midst of trying to connect every channel to one another, retailers instead have created inconsistencies between each channel.
Customers expect to be able to have the same functionality and experience regardless of where they are shopping. Whether they begin browsing on a mobile device, are purchasing on their desktop, and then picking up in store, the shopping journey contains multiple touch points.
This applies not just to brand experience and product offerings but also to the number of checkout process steps and the promotions being offered by the retailer, both credit and non-credit. According to Vyze research, 1 in 4 customers want to be able to use a credit card loyalty program equally across in-store, online, and mobile channels. Customers want the power of choice of where, how, and when they shop.
Tedious Checkout Fields
It’s important to get all of the right customer information during checkout to insure a smooth transaction and shipping process. But that doesn’t mean that you need to collect ALL of a customer’s information. Limit checkout to 10 fields or fewer. That means cutting out asking for birth dates, not separating address lines, and combining separate first and last name fields into one field.
Optimizing the fields also includes the format of how they are filled. In some cases, checkout fields will make their users correct their own typos instead of inferring and suggesting a corrected address. This adds yet another unnecessary step to the form fill process.
The payments space is particularly buzzy. Between store cards, digital wallets, and alternative payment methods, retailers fall victim to the “more is more” trap. As a result they end up with a clunky payments process with more options than a customer ever knew they wanted.
Let’s cut to the chase, retailers need to understand that when it comes to payments, consumers just want the payments process to work for them. Today retailer’s existing credit programs reject 50% of customers. Retailers need to offer payment options that are streamlined and inclusive of the majority of their customers.
When customers are in cart, it’s a notion that they are committed to buying. In return, customers expect a high degree of transparency to confirm what they are getting and when. However, checkouts today can get cluttered and unknowingly hide these important details.
23% of customers will abandon their cart if they can’t see/calculate the order total upfront. Make sure that delivery dates, shipping costs, and other important order information that customers care about are clearly stated on each order summary.
Returns are not first nature to ecommerce players, as it is traditionally an in-store interaction. However with the growth of online shopping, online returns have become more relevant.
Brands like ASOS and Amazon Prime Wardrobe have begun to embrace this step of the shopping journey by including returns labels with every purchase and waiving return fees if sent back within a certain time frame. Brands need to establish clear and flexible policies to solve the pain point of online returns.
Offering the Wrong Loyalty Perks
Every retailer is eager to capture loyal customers. The result of this has been an increase in new loyalty programs, and greater socialization around the ones that retailers already have. With so many loyalty programs in the market, it’s important that retailers make theirs stand out and unique to what their customer base actually wants. For example, awards points may work in some verticals that have high repurchase rates, like grocery and department stores, but may not work as well for mattress or furniture retailers where customers make a purchase less frequently. Just because one type of loyalty tactic works for one type of retailer, doesn’t guarantee it will drive the same results for you.
How to Solve the Pain Points
In our latest webinar, Aquire, Engage, and Delight, Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpru dives into the ecommerce shopping journey in it’s entirety and talks how retailers can work to solve these common pain points. Series offers valuable insight on the latest metrics, checkout experience, and loyalty trends.
Get the takeaways, and stream all episodes of the digital series here now.