Positive changes to prevent online basket abandonment

What is the value of lost sales due to basket abandonment?

If there’s one issue that unites every retailer and brand that sells online, it’s basket abandonment. Barclaycard found that the value of these lost sales is £18bn. Unfortunately for the eCommerce world, the problem is getting worse. And retailers across the UK are scrambling around for ways and means to either usher more shoppers to the purchase screen, or at the very least to return to their store later to click that buy button after whatever period of time spent doing other things. But while it’s good that retailers are solution focused, the challenge facing them is finding the right solution to yield the right result – something they’ll only arrive at with the right data, from the right sources, providing the right insight.

Abandonment triggers

Part of the challenge facing brands and retailers is that the reasons people don’t complete shops are multi-faceted and diverse. Sometimes these factors are within brands’ direct control, sometimes they’re extraneous things to do with shopper behaviour, lifestyle, habit and external forces that are harder (but not impossible) to influence. In the case of the former, it’s things like the perceived difficulty of basket build when a shopper is on an eCommerce site for the first time, and perhaps finds the experience complex enough to give up on. Or direct concerns around card security, the retailer not offering a preferred payment method, delivery charges and errors on the website. If a retailer or brand notices or is informed about these things the fix can be obvious and often easily achieved. It’s when we get to the extraneous factors that things get interesting – and harder. Today’s shopper is nuanced, busy and more than a little distracted. Shopping style, behaviour, time of day and brand perception all have their say in how likely a shopper is to become a buyer. For example, using Beyond we found that 71% of shoppers multi-screen, meaning that their shopping experience can be interrupted by everything from checking sports scores to social posts. For brands, this makes the solution to basket abandonment much more complex. Unless they have the right data to inform their response.

Insight informed initiatives

While the basket abandonment problem looks bad for brands and retailers, there’s almost certainly a solution to every (or at least most) problems – if you look in the right places. Today, smart brands take a more advanced approach to data analysis and persona development – creating highly detailed, data driven shopper profiles that reveal more about how shoppers act, the factors that inform their choices, and what can curtail or disrupt a purchase. From there, the action they take to improve the basket abandonment problem is much clearer, as well as more effective. For example, a brand that realises its key customer group is highly active on social channels while shopping at certain times of day can create media and advertising strategies that work with that behaviour. Think advertising workout nutrition products to sports fans who might be watching the game, while doing their grocery shop. While another brand could encourage retail partners to tweak messaging online on the basis that their target shopper will be meal planning or working out what to cook for a dinner party while browsing the virtual aisles. Or even suggest changes to user journeys and experiences based on their data. Whatever the case, the vital thing is that brands start with data and build from there. Rather than starting with a proposed action and just hoping that it’ll work for their target consumer. Fundamentally, it’s by understanding why shoppers abandon baskets that they’ll begin to address the growing problem of basket abandonment, and be able to bring some of the £18bn of lost sales into their business.


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