In a new survey of 2000 UK consumers, shopping habits were examined to find out just how retailers can thrive post-COVID, revealing the fragility of the shopper’s journey and what retailers must satisfy in order to gain and retain customers.
The findings , which highlight the fragility of the shopper journey, form part of a new report — Navigating Needs: the path to profit in eCommerce — published by global payment provider Klarna and leading SaaS ecommerce platform provider BigCommerce, in partnership with retail expert Andrew Busby.
Highlights included that 38% of UK shoppers abandon a purchase at least once a week, with a further 21% claiming to do so more regularly. The two companies included a call for retailers to prioritise shoppers’ most fundamental needs for the sake of their bottom line, incase the UK heads towards a recession.
The research reveals a lack of fast and affordable delivery options as the number one reason behind cart abandonment, with over half of UK consumers admitting they have abandoned their online shopping cart due to delivery frustrations. The burden of needing to create an account and frustrations with the functionality of a mobile website came second, cited by 32% and 33% respectively as reasons to drop out.
Meanwhile, 27% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because they couldn’t remember their log in details for an existing account, whilst more than a quarter of UK shoppers (26%) admitted they have left a purchase halfway through because they ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to prepare their card details.
Andrew Busby, top 20 global retail influencer, CEO of Retail Reflections and IBM Futurist, said:
“Even before Covid-19 struck, retail was undergoing a seismic shift – and now its transformation is almost inevitable. Innovation is key, and retailers are right to consider new ways of reaching customers and bringing the same enriching experiences to them in this strange new world. But, in a matter of months, functionality and safety have shot to unprecedented levels of importance. Physical stores may never look the same again – and, from the ability to try before you buy to the need for secure spending and rapid returns, online retailers are under peak pressure to make the shopping experience as safe and seamless as possible.
Inspired by Maslow’s well-known hierarchy of needs theory, the report considers the shopper needs retailers must satisfy in their quest to gain and retain customers and starts from the pyramids base:
- Functionality – 37% of respondents saying the ease of using a retailer’s website has the biggest influence over their purchase decisions.
- Safety – 75% of consumers saying they would be likely to abandon their shopping cart if they did not trust a website’s security. In the current context, this also means the safety of deliveries, with many retailers now offering essential non-contact delivery options to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
- Engagement – 39% of consumers saying good customer service would encourage them to shop again with an online retailer. An additional 27% said poor customer service would deter them.
- Esteem – 33% of consumers noting that personalised offers or discounts would encourage them to shop with an online brand.
- Enriching experiences – With all other needs met, many consumers are looking for entertainment and inspiration with 35% of UK shoppers saying they are more likely to shop with a retailer that is associated with fun content and experiences.
Laurel Wolfe, VP Marketing at Klarna, added: “Consumer behaviour might feel particularly unpredictable right now, but fundamental needs remain the same. Just like Maslow’s theory, this means starting with the basics and working up. Customers won’t feel comfortable if a website feels insecure, whilst a fast, smooth checkout process is likely to encourage loyalty. From flexible payment options and shopper security, to relevant content and referral traffic, we’re proud to help retailers improve the shopping experience at every stage of the journey, enabling them to create closer connections with customers.”