Shoppers want an online experience that works for them – from click and collect to payments, says Anita Liu Harvey, Director of Strategy and Business Planning at Barclaycard Payment Solutions
Customer experience (CX) has been one of the most prominent trends in ecommerce and digital in recent years, with more than half of retailers stating that CX was their top strategic priority in 2017.
And research shows that the emphasis on customer experience isn’t based on hype. A good CX makes people 3.5x more likely to make additional purchases from a retailer and 5x more likely to recommend that business to friends and family.
So how can retailers deliver a customer experience that makes them stand out from the crowd?
This InternetRetailing report focuses on three key elements of customer experience - convenience, reliability and innovation. The first two of those elements are fundamental for a good CX, but it’s innovation that can give retailers a real competitive advantage.
Consider the checkout experience, for example. Barclaycard research shows that online shoppers abandon £18bn worth of goods each year, proving that a convenient, frictionless payment experience is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ in ecommerce. If retailers fail to meet their customers’ expectations at the checkout, they will lose sales.
The same is true of fulfilment. A YouGov study published in 2017 found that 54% of UK shoppers had used click and collect, mainly due to the cost savings and convenience.
The YouGov report also found that two-thirds of UK shoppers (65%) would switch to an alternative retailer if they suffered a poor click and collect experience, while a separate study by Narvar revealed that 22% of shoppers wouldn’t shop with an online retailer if they weren’t able to return the item in-store.
This indicates that shoppers increasingly expect all retailers to offer convenient multichannel delivery and return options – so while services like click and collect are still vital to a good customer experience, they’re no longer seen as innovative. They’ve become a hygiene factor.
Retailers need to have the right payment and fulfilment technology in place so they can create convenient and reliable customer experiences. Once they have these fundamentals working they can begin to innovate and offer exciting new digital services to their customers, giving them an edge over the competition.
From a payments perspective, shoppers increasingly expect payments to be built into the customer experience, with the act of paying decoupled from the act of buying.
People no longer want to queue just to pay for their products. Obvious examples include click and collect, but we’re seeing new innovations such as the emergence of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ options such as MasterCard Instalments.
Barclaycard is also innovating in this space with our Grab+Go system that allows customers to simply scan the items they need using a smartphone app and then leave, with the app automatically handling the payment. It could have a big impact on the way people shop for everyday items and revolutionise the retail customer experience.
It’s this type of innovative thinking that helps retailers go beyond simply meeting a customer’s expectations and allows them to set the benchmark for others to follow.
Company founded: 1966, the same year Barclaycard introduced the UK’s first credit card.
Global reach: Barclaycard is a broad international payments business. In 2015 we processed more than £293bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment, and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future.
To find out how your business can get ahead of the game, visit our online payment solutions page: www.barclaycard.co.uk/business/accepting-payments/online-payment-solutions