Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Why aren't on-line retailers closing the sale?

I read in Mark Lowe’s blog (Google UK Country Manager) that around 65% of on-line shopping baskets are abandoned at the check-out.

This is a shocking number.

Bricks and mortar retailers worked out long ago that in order to keep customers loyal it is essential to deliver a great brand experience in store. A key part of this experience happens at the check-out. I think it was Tesco that once did a campaign saying they would not permit queues of more than 3 people - and then, presumably at vast expense, changed their operation and retrained staff to ensure this promise was delivered.

Why don’t on-line retailers sort it out? They must be looking at the conversion data. They must be calculating the impact on their bottom lines. The cost to fix shouldn’t be huge? The ROI isn’t complicated.

Think about Amazon. They know the importance of the transaction phase to help achieve a seamless (and profitable) brand experience. They understand that when you make a brand promise, deliver it and then find ways to delight consumers, consumers are likely to buy again and may be even become an advocate.

I can see why Mark is frustrated and calling out for change.

If your on-line conversions are disappointing I strongly recommend that your organisation (both large and small):
  • Read Mark’s tip.

  • Get the right people to collaborate to work out a fix.

  • Review whether people have the right KPIs, as conversions should not just be the responsibility of the ecommerce department but everyone with responsibility for brand experience management.

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