It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in retail that ecommerce shopping has taken off. In just a year, online sales have grown 16% from 2016 to 2017, with consumers spending a grand total of $453 billion. Online sales now make up 13% of total retail sales, and that number is only expected to go up.
Why? Customers have come to value the convenience and accessibility that comes with the ability to shop online. Despite the growth of the channel and retailer’s awareness of customer demand, retailers still haven’t worked out all of the kinks of the online experience, leaving customers with major pain points.
Retailers have fallen victim to the “bright shiny object” of online shopping instead of focusing on the well-established fundamentals of the customer user experience. As a result, retailers have looked past the established fundamentals to next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence and facial recognition, to solve what they believe their experience lacks. These efforts still fail to satisfy the most simple of customer pain points, however. Retailers, instead, need to take a step back and refocus their attention to the core fundamentals of the customer user experience for online shopping.
When it comes to the online shopping experience, here are the three most common pain points that customers face, yet retailers overlook.
Inconsistent brand experiences by channel
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, today’s customer is a multiple touch point shopper.
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.
Lengthy Checkout Process
According to Forrester, about half of customers don’t make it past the first step of the online checkout process, leaving carts abandoned and sales lost. The main culprit? Lengthy checkout processes.
Retailers, on average, have 5 seconds for pages to load before customers leave their site. For the mobile shopping experience, this number is worse, with half of customers abandoning the shopping experience after 3 seconds. The average retailer has 10 seconds of load time online and 22 seconds of load time on mobile devices.
However, load times are just the beginning of the problems considering how onerous the checkout process has become. Between being taken off page to checkout, redirects, and then having to fill out numerous forms and fields to get to the final checkout screen, retailers have put a lot of barriers and unnecessary friction between valuable customers and their ability to seamlessly follow through with a purchase.
Offering too many payment options
With the number of different types of payment players and tender types in the retail space, the payment screen in checkout is beginning to look like a Nascar racecar, plastered with a plethora of logos. This can be confusing to the customers, and having too many choices at checkout actually diminishes the value of the checkout experience and adversely impacts conversion.
Instead, retailers need to work to consolidate their options into one streamlined program while simultaneously, making this same variety of options available to customers. No two customers are the same, meaning it is essential to have payment options that can accommodate each shopper’s financial and credit situation. The key lies in putting these options into a single user experience.
How to solve customer paint points
In our 3-part ecommerce series, featuring Forrester’s Sucharita Kodali, Vyze gets to the bottom of the ecommerce shopping journey. In episode 1, we dove deep into the ecommerce metrics that really matter and push the needle towards a positive experience.
In episode 2, we tackled the common pain points customers face at online checkout and the actions that retailers can take to solve them.
Sign up to watch the first and second episodes now, and get the third sent directly to your inbox when it is available.