Walking the Shop Floor Online – The Buyer’s Journey

Setting the Scene

Picture the scene: you’re shopping in-store, walking around for a while, browsing the different items until you find something you really like, then you decide to buy it. You take it all the way to the checkout, stand in line, but once you are at the checkout, you suddenly drop the item and run out of the store. This doesn’t happen all too often in real life, but the average online shopping cart abandonment rate according to the Baymard Institute is almost 68%¹. So why are customers leaving after being so close to purchasing?

In our first episode of Everything eCommerce featuring Jeremy Wilson of Practicology, we talked about supercharging your eCommerce growth. One of the things Jeremy discussed was the importance of customer experience and creating that in-store experience online, which is vital when it comes to reducing your basket abandonment. Let’s think for a minute about the two main reasons customers are leaving your website mid-purchase.

Customer Experience

Walker recently released a study which stated that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator ². Many brick and mortar shops are creating a whole experience to help guide the customer through their journey, not just a simple purchase. Take Primark for example, there are now cafes and beauty treatments offered as you walk through the store. So how can we replicate this online when there is no one to walk you through the store yourself?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Use your own website, create a fake account, pretend you are the customer, place your own order, see through their eyes. If you are creating a difficult or unenjoyable journey for your customer online, this is bound to affect your sales conversion. 

One of the major benefits of live chat is that you can create that personalised experience online and have someone on hand to guide the customer through their purchase. No one will feel that their issue is too small, as, with a proactive chat strategy, an agent will appear to them when they need it most, and offer personalised help when they need it most. With bigger purchases, having a human on hand is also a great way to offer reassurance before hitting that buy button. 

Most eCommerce sites use automated personalisation, but live chat can provide a much higher level of personalisation than these systems, as your customer will be able to chat directly with a real person and get tailored suggestions. A common use of online shopping baskets is simply a comparison tool to try and find the right product, with a personalised experience, your customer can add the right item to their basket right away and get them from browsing to a sale.

Unclear Information

Not having the correct information readily available to the customer is one of the main reasons for basket abandonment, but it is also easily solved. Let’s go back to being in-store for a moment. You find the product, get to the checkout, and suddenly realise you have no idea what the returns policy is. You can’t see it written anywhere, but it’s a risky birthday gift and you may need to return it if it doesn’t go down well. You ask the employee behind the desk, and they let you know the timeframe, provide a receipt and explain how to make a return. Mind at ease, there’s no need to run out of the shop, you now purchase the item, and go away happy (at least until you have to give the risky gift!). 

Last-minute questions can result in stress and confusion, and can ultimately cause the customer to ‘run out of the shop’.  90% of customers said that the ‘live chat’ button gives them confidence that they can get help if they need it ³, and so it should. Live chat is a great tool to solve all manner of customers issues. If a customer is unable to find information on the site, or if they feel they don’t want to click off the basket page to try and find the information they need, having a chat agent there to speak to could be the deciding factor on whether that person becomes a customer or not. 

With a staggering 77% of customers who say they won’t make a purchase on a website if there’s no live chat option available ⁴, it’s never been a better time to implement a live chat service on your website. 

Read more about how our live chat service can help you with basket abandonment here.

¹ http://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate

² https://www.thechatshop.com/blog/customer-experience-will-overtake-price-product

³ http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/commerce/atg/cross-channel-commerce-survey-333315.pdf

⁴ http://www.furstperson.com/blog/8-essential-live-chat-customer-support-statistics