Four out of 10 online shoppers in the UK abandon their shopping carts 50% of the time or more before they complete a purchase. This represents hundreds of billions in merchandise and a significant loss of potential revenue for retailers. However, as much as 40% of this revenue could be recovered with the timely delivery of special offers. This is according to new research by Talend, the global big data integration software leader, polling the views of online consumers across the UK.
The research also revealed a significant gap between the proportion of consumers who say it is always their intention to buy the goods they put in their online cart (42%) and the 4% of all customers, who always proceed to purchase the items in their basket.
“Online retailers are missing out on revenue-generating opportunities and the chance to build long-term customer relationships by failing to convert purchasing intentions into sales,” says Rick Brar, retail sector lead, Talend. “These customers are intending to buy. So, retailers need to capitalise on this intention by personalising offers, providing insightful recommendations that encourage upselling and cross-selling, and incentivising the purchase by providing flexible delivery options, or details of competitor pricing, for example.
“To make this happen, though, retailers need to have real-time insight into their customers’ purchasing intentions. And that’s where the latest analytics technology is key in acting as a catalyst.”
The survey further builds retailers’ understanding of their customers’ shopping habits by revealing that 58% of consumers said they sometimes used their online baskets as part of the browsing process, or as a way of generating a ‘wish list’, or of calculating costs.
“Retailers will be looking to convert as many of these ‘window shoppers’ as possible into sales,” adds Brar. “So they need to look at how they use the available technology and the effectiveness of their website to do this. That’s where the enhanced insight that real-time analytics capabilities deliver makes a difference to retailers by enabling them to provide real-time discounts or complementary offers at the point of sale to drive deals through.”
90% of respondents, for example, said they would either complete a purchase or return to an abandoned basket, if they were offered free delivery on that basket, while 85% said they would take one of these two options if they were offered a real-time discount or bundled offer on their basket. Further underlining the power of harnessing analytics driven, real-time insight to drive sales, 36% of the sample said they would take one of the two options provided, if the retailer could inform them what the products in their shopping cart cost at other online websites.
“This survey clearly demonstrates the many challenges retailers face in meeting the expectations of their customers in the online shopping space,” adds Brar. “Retailers, however, often struggle to provide the kinds of real-time offers that their customers are increasingly looking for, primarily because their existing legacy systems are outdated.
“With the growing rise of e-commerce and social media and the need for personalisation, retailers need to look at technology that will help them be more agile and flexible and to leverage key information about the customer at the point of sale,” he continues. “That’s why it is so important that they have access to technology that enables them to conduct real-time analytics and provides the insight into their customers that they need.”