97 per cent of shoppers reported that they had abandoned online shopping baskets at some time, new research shows.
One third of UK online shoppers are experiencing problems when they shop online, this is according to a major research project conducted by Aspect and Microsoft platform solutions.
Problems cited included: 'couldn't find an answer to a question', 'insufficient product information' and 'a slow website'.
• 10 per cent of online shoppers surveyed had to contact e-tailers post-purchase to return items, check on deliveries, or change orders, all of which are potentially avoidable zero value calls.
• 97 per cent of shoppers reported that they had abandoned online shopping baskets at some time, ranging from CDs to furniture. Shoppers cited a long list of reasons for abandonment from 'unable to access live support' to 'delivery charges' and 'insufficient product information'.
• On a more positive note, 86 percent of shoppers said that they were 'happy' or 'very happy' with their last shopping experience; and when shoppers did have to contact e-tailers post-purchase, 94% were able to resolve their issue(s) on the first contact.
• In response to the industry issue of abandoned online shopping baskets, Aspect advocates the use of 'cart recovery' (or 're-marketing') techniques – and urges e-tailers to contact online shoppers by email within 24 hours and not normally before 4 hours after abandonment, so as not to "speak" the customer.
• A basket containing a CD may warrant an email or an SMS, but a suite of furniture or other high value goods may warrant an outbound call.
By so doing, Aspect claims that between 6 per cent and 50 per cent of abandoned baskets can be recovered. To deliver effect cart recovery services, they urge e-tailers to make additional investments in fully integrated outbound telephony, email and SMS systems and services to handle the increased volume of (and multi-modal form of) today’s customer contacts, as well as to ensure their back and front office operations are optimally linked.
• They also challenges e-tailers to reconsider their use of different communications channels, claiming that online shoppers are often forced down the email route because it is the cheapest option for e-tailers rather than the preferred choice for shoppers. When asked 'How do you prefer an e-tailer to communicate with you?' 77 percent of shoppers selected email, 14 percent the phone, and 8 percent web chat.
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