7 lessons from the shopping cart


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Those that get e-commerce right stand to become the dominant retailers in their sectors. The ones that customers think of first and visit often. Those that don't may well find their market positions irrevocably damaged. In this presentation "Seven lessons from the shopping cart", we'll look at seven lessons today's companies should learn if they are to gain maximum benefits from their e-commerce operations.

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  • Notice how most of these are focused on the experience and are comparative: less time, more variety, easier to compare, no crowd. Yet too few e-commerce retailers really focus on the experience their sites deliver – they make assumptions such as ‘price trumps everything’ or ignore the fact that most of their shoppers are not experts in navigating arcane structures in order to make a simple purchase.User testing – with real customers trying to complete real tasks – is fundamental to creating a better customer experience.
  • Lesson 2: Focus on frictionThis is a key example of where experience will trump low prices. Your online store can have a vast range and attractive prices, but if it is simply too much of a hassle, customers will go elsewhere.The answer is to ruthlessly hunt down every instance of friction – those areas that slow your customers down. In fact our own research has discovered that 22% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because the checkout process was too complicated. A massive 95% said a quick checkout was an important aspect of online shopping
  • You will not foresee every eventuality. It is therefore critical that your underlying commerce platform is flexible enough to deal with changes quickly and easily. You may need to change your strategy, roll out new campaigns or adapt your offering in hours, not weeks. Because if you’re too late, your customers will be gone. More than this, you should be able to create tailored customer journeys, personalising them to individual user needs. This may be about offering customers the products they are most likely to be interested in based on their earlier behaviour. Or it could be about taking your store out to them on Facebook. Or it might simply mean ensuring they can view a smartphone-friendly version of your store. We call this agile commerce. Fundamentally, this is founded on understanding when, where and how you can reach your customers and engage with them across channels.
  • What customers really want to know is what others just like them thought of the product. Did it live up to expectations? Was it good value? Or did it, well, suck? This Is a major reason why reviews do so well on search engines – they’re what people want to see. And it’s why today’s e-commerce sites need to think seriously about adding user reviews. Reviews are the first step towards ‘social commerce’. By this, we mean the use of social tools to enhance the shopping experience. In addition to reviews it can include: Comparative shopping – “People like you also bought...”Tweets linked to purchase – “I just bought...”Sharing mechanisms – Facebook LikesUser-generated video tutorials – “How to get the most from your new...”Branded social gaming – customer league tables and related benefitsLocation-based rewards – Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook check-in rewardsBlogs and Facebook pages – delivering a more human interaction with the brand
  • Mobile payments were worth $86.1bn in 2011. That’s an increase of 76% over 2010 [Source: Gartner, July 2011]EBay hit $4bn in gross mobile sales during 2011 [Source: KPCB, October 2011] Global mobile commerce market is forecast to reach $119bn by 2015 [Source: BitWizards, via Marketing Charts, July 2011]Best practice from Google Keep it fast – make your mobile site is quick to load on lower speed connections (not everyone has 3G)Keep it simple – real estate is precious, don’t clutter up a small screen Go for big buttons – people are using their fingers and thumbs, not a one pixel point of a mouse arrowDon’t use Flash – a significant number of devices (ie iPhones and iPads) don’t support itPresent a common face to the world – don’t be one brand on the desktop and another on a smartphone (or yet another offline for that matter)Automatically serve mobile sites to mobile users (you can always give them the option to view the full site if they wish)
  • Answering the big questionsThere are a wide range of questions you need to be able to answer to get the best out of your e-commerce operations: What really works on your site? What doesn’t? Why do people buy? What is the most profitable source of purchase influence? Why do people abandon their shopping carts? What do they do after a sale?Getting 20:20 insight into your customers While stock levels and traffic are, of course, key data points, it’s these core insights into customer behaviour that can transform your online store from a competent performer into a major driver of revenue and profit for the company.Test, test and test again Data offers vital clues into what’s going on with your customers. It is, however, rare that it will give absolute clarity on all but the really big issues. For that, you need to get more hands on. It is important to form and test hypotheses about your data. For example: What does a high bounce rate mean? Is the initial landing page experience poor? Is the site badly tagged for content? Is the navigation unclear? It could be a number of things. Often, it will be small changes that have large effects – the placement of a button, the text used in navigation, how well you explain shipping costs and timings. So it really pays to be obsessive over what your analytics are showing.
  • . Your order fulfilment must be flawless. Most people are used to the Amazon experience, anything less will detract from your brand and lose you future business.The 2 critical times to follow up How you follow up with customers after the sale can make a huge difference. Post-sale there tends to be two forces at work: Buyer’s remorse – this is the period of doubt that can follow placing an order (particularly for high ticket items) – having proactive ways of providing reassurance to customers can greatly lesson the chances of them cancelling an order before it is fulfilled (or returning a perfectly working item after receiving it).The honeymoon period – immediately after delivery and for a short period of time afterwards, buyers are highly motivated to reinforce their belief that they made a good choice. This is the most likely time that they will recommend you to others and write positive reviews.
  • 7 lessons from the shopping cart

    1. 1. 7 lessons from the shopping cartJenny WesterbergMarketing and Communication Manager, EPiServer
    2. 2. E-commerce is everywhereMore people are shoppingonline than ever beforeOnline retails market in USand Western Europe arepredicted to grow 10% peryear. (Forrester)The clock is ticking forretailers.
    3. 3. 7 lessons for a better e-commerce operation7. Don’t stop at payment, 1. Put customer experienceunlocking the door to repeat at the centre.sales.6. Be anal about analytics – 2. Focus on friction - get outtest your gut. of the way of the sale. 5. The rise of the mobile 3. Things happen – deal with shopper – are you ready? them. 4. Reviews – power to the people (profits to you).
    4. 4. Lesson 1: Put customer experience at thecentre Top reasons preferring one online store over another: 1. Saves time 2. More variety 3. Easy to compare prices 4. No crowd 5. Low prices
    5. 5. “While companies have a relatively goodunderstanding of what customers are mostlikely to do on their first visit and the reasonsfor making the first purchase and returning totheir site, they have „limited‟ or „nounderstanding‟ about why customers abandonthe shopping cart (78%) or leave the sitewithout converting (81%).” Econsultancy, Reducing Customer Struggle
    6. 6. Lesson 3: Things happens deal with them • Critical that your commerce platform is flexible to deal with changes quickly and easily. • Create tailored customer journeys, personalising them to user needs. • Agile commerce: when, where and how you can reach your customers and engage with them across channels.
    7. 7. “If I had to guess, socialcommerce is the nextarea to really blow up”. Mark Zuckerberg, 23rd August 2010
    8. 8. Lesson 4: Reviews – power to the people(profits to you) • Customers want to know what others thought of the product. Was it good value? • Reviews do very well on search engines. • And it’s why e-commerce sites need to think seriously about adding user reviews. • Reviews are the first step towards social commerce
    9. 9. Lesson 5: The rise of the mobile shopper -are you ready? • Mobile payments were worth $86.1bn in 2011. That’s an increase of 76% over 2010. • EBay hit $4bn in gross mobile sales during 2011 . • Global mobile commerce market is forecast to reach $119bn by 2015
    10. 10. Lesson 6: Be anal of analyticstest your gut! Answering the big questions Getting 20:20 insight into your customers Test, test and test again
    11. 11. Lesson 7: Don‟t stop at payment –unlocking the door to repeat sales Generating loyalty starts the € moment an order is accepted. $£ 2 critical times to follow up: - Buyer’s remorse - The honeymoon period For long-term loyalty, aim to deliver regular moments of surprise and delight.