What’s Holding Consumers Back From Buying More Online?

by October 9, 2015 0 comments

– Martin Ryan, VP & Managing Director, Dyn Asia Pacific

Online and mobile shopping is on the rise around the world, providing retailers with a huge opportunity to increase their revenue and global footprint. But can they meet the customer’s changing needs and expectations? What IT executives think customers expect and experience while shopping online and on mobile devices isn’t necessarily the reality from the customer point of view. Aligning the two is what will help raise customer interest and encourage them to do it more often. The question is, how do retailers and ecommerce companies improve their understanding of exactly what is getting in the way of delivering the fast, simple and secure online and mobile shopping experiences consumers expect today?
Around the world, online sales are representing a bigger piece of retail revenue today than ever before. According to recent research from Dyn, 97 per cent of IT executives across Asia Pacific alone expect online sales to increase by 25-75 per cent this year. While this highlights a growing opportunity, the majority of global retail purchases are still made in bricks and mortar stores, with 40 per cent of consumers surveyed preferring to shop in physical locations. This indicates a flaw in the online experience which is holding customers back from buying more online, more often.
Website latency has a large impact on customer behaviour as research shows customers have an extremely low tolerance for slow-to-load websites, which means they will quickly look elsewhere. Not only are retailers losing sales in the moment, but the speed and quality of website performance affects the customer’s trust in that brand. The big challenge for businesses is how to solve website service issues, with 95 per cent of global IT executives reporting lost sales due to poor website performance. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Dyn of 1,400 consumers from 11 different countries confirmed that Internet retailers will need to provide a better shopping experience if they want to grow international online sales.
When it comes to mobile shopping, sales are on the rise, but the overall experience is lacking. According to Dyn’s research, the customer’s main issue with mobile shopping is that it is not as fast and easy as shopping online. Almost 30 per cent of consumers across Asia Pacific claim the reason they aren’t making more mobile purchases is poor navigation and speed. Yet, while speed is more important to consumers than a personalised experience, the majority of IT executives are placing a greater emphasis on the latter.
Retailers and ecommerce companies looking to maximise the opportunity for revenue growth via online shopping need to closely examine the quality of the online experience they’re giving the customer. Optimising the customer’s online shopping experience means considering internet performance. Here are four tips to improve the overall customer experience:
•    Driving Customer Loyalty – this starts from the first time the customer engages with a website. If the site is slow and inconsistent, retailers are most likely going to lose customers due to security concerns or simple frustration. Working with a managed DNS provider to specifically address this will improve website performance and ensure global availability whenever customers want to shop.
•    Minimising Cart Abandonment – two out of three customers claim slow websites lead to security issues and cart abandonment. Retailers need to ensure all pages load quickly, to make customers feel confident enough to make a purchase.
•    Providing Consistency of Experience – as global online shopping increases, the importance of a consistent experience for the customer – no matter where they are located – rises also. Therefore, it’s important to partner with an internet performance provider with the global network and monitoring capabilities to suit business goals. Maintaining Consistency Across Channels – consistency across all channels is vital, to maintain customer engagement in the longer term. Browsing, purchasing and customer service needs to be as easy to do and find online as it is on mobile devices and in physical stores.
Improving the overall customer experience can convert browsers to buyers in no time, and this often means the difference between a highly successful online business and one that drives customers towards the competition.

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