The latest in our series of Ask the Expert articles explores why new research has found online basket abandonment remains high
As the subject of the latest homepage poll of Retail Technology
online, and despite internet shopping being more popular in the UK than any other major country
, new research shows that over one in five people abandon online transactions because they are unable to easily speak to someone on the phone.
The independent survey of 2,000 online shoppers, conducted by One Poll
in June 2013, found that 23% of consumers backed out of a purchase as they were unable to speak to the retailer. Overall seven in ten UK internet shoppers abandon sites prior to purchase, with women 7% more likely to abandon an online shop than men.
When it comes to bigger ticket items (valued at £50 plus), over half of online consumers (52%) said they are more likely to complete their purchase if the retailer offered to call them for free. James Critchley, chief executive of cloud.IQ
, which commissioned the survey said: “With Britons spending on average £1,000 each year online
, it’s crucial retailers make it as easy as possible for consumers to get in touch."
Too few retailers offer direct communication
He continued: "People want to do business with people. The reality is that even when we’re buying stuff online – and particularly something that costs more than a few quid – we usually want to talk to someone as part of the transaction. It’s worrying that many retailers fail to offer this option.”
‘Callback’ buttons allow online retailers to place a button on their site that customers can hit when they want to speak to someone, maybe because they’re experiencing issues using a site or simply want to ask some questions. The callback button then automates the callback process – connecting an agent to the customer at no cost to the consumer. Crucially it will do this immediately (or schedule for the next working day if the enquiry is out of hours) and will keep trying until a connection is made.
Critchley added:“With the use of a callback button, the responsibility of contact falls back to the retailer. Agents can listen to customers’ needs and concerns and pitch accordingly. They ensure the customer receives a response quickly – before they get the chance to browse to a competitor site. By putting in that extra effort, retailers can expect to see less shopping carts abandoned and a real improvement in sales conversions.”