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GUEST COMMENT Basket abandonment: the £18 billion opportunity

As consumers continue to shop online, it’s becoming increasingly important that retailers are equipped to combat online basket abandonment, which could be costing them £18 billion in potential sales each year.

Equally important is the ability to offer consumers a streamlined payment journey to ensure that the online shopping experience is as frictionless as possible. But how can retailers combat basket abandonment whilst offering customers the hassle-free shopping experience they have come to expect?

Utilise data to increase conversion

It appears many vendors are missing the data or insights they need to increase conversion. Our research highlighted that six in 10 retailers (59 per cent) are unaware of the average buyer drop-out rate on their website.

Identifying the barriers to basket conversion alone doesn’t boost sales, but by leveraging data insights retailers can ensure they are well-informed about their customers’ browsing and purchasing behaviours. With this crucial information, they can make better decisions – for example around inventory levels or targeted marketing – and could see an increase in sales as a result.

Make sure your payment platform is up to date

Today’s customer is increasingly time-poor and expects a frictionless online shopping experience. As a result, our research showed that one in five (22 per cent) of consumers say they would like to see more retailers incorporate faster payments technology into their website to speed up the check-out process. Despite this, our research showed that more than seven in 10 retailers (72 per cent) haven’t introduced any new payment technology to their website in the last two years.
The reality is that retailers spend time and money to develop engaging ecommerce sites, but they could still miss out on revenue if the customer drops out of the purchase because of a complicated payment process.

What’s evident is that retailers who have introduced new payment technology to their website are reaping the rewards: almost all (96 per cent) say this has enhanced the online experience for their customers, and 64 per cent say payment processing is faster. Ultimately, upgrading to an up-to-date payment platform means retailers can offer their customers the seamless check-out they now expect.

Let customers pay the way they want to pay

As well as providing an up to date payment platform, retailers should also offer a wide variety of payment methods. Invisible and conversational payments, such as digital personal assistants, are now used by almost half (46%) of millennials to buy goods and services. Crucially, our research indicates that one in four (24 per cent) small retailers admit they have lost customers because of a lack of emerging, but increasingly popular, payment options – rising to two thirds (65 per cent) when modern technology such as contactless, online payments, mobile and wearable devices are taken into account.

Making changes may seem complicated or time consuming – but it doesn’t have to be. With the support from their payment provider, retailers can ensure they have the right solutions for their business while satisfying the ever-growing group of tech-savvy, digitally-minded shoppers.

Offer customers the streamlined experience they now expect

Consumers expect the online shopping experience to be as hassle-free as possible; and whilst retailers strive to offer this, they could still be missing out on important revenue due to customer disappointments with the payment process. With 41 per cent of shoppers saying they have abandoned a purchase online, the stakes are huge.

Upgrading to a modern payment platform, such as Barclaycard’s Smartpay gateway, allows retailers to take payments through a website or app, over the phone, or using a multi-channel model. This means that retailers can offer their customers the streamlined check-out experience they now expect, while addressing many of the above challenges This could, in turn, reduce basket abandonment and increase sales.

Author: George Allardice, head of strategy, Barclaycard Payment Solutions

Photo credit: Fotolia

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