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Retailers must invest in mobile and payments to ease the pain of Christmas customer experience

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Retailers must invest in mobile and payments to ease the pain of Christmas customer experience
Retailers must invest in mobile and payments to ease the pain of Christmas customer experience
Being mobile centric, offering alternative payment options such as the ability to pay later and enabling one-click repeat purchase are all key to winning over online Christmas shoppers.

So says new research by payments provider Klarna, which harvests the views of more than 2,000 consumers to reveal that shoppers are so stressed out in the extended run up to Christmas that they’re overwhelmed when the day itself arrives.

The findings suggest that the burden of Christmas shopping is largely to blame for heightened stress levels. In-store crowds were the number one stress for a quarter of respondents, whilst finding the perfect gift was the biggest source of stress for 20% of those surveyed.

These pressures could have a big impact on the bottom line of merchants if they’re not addressed; more than a third of consumers have previously walked out of a shop in frustration as a result. This is not just a bricks and mortar issue – 1 in 10 respondents have abandoned their online basket in frustration when the process is too complex, suggesting there’s still work to be done to smooth the purchase process online.

Have a smooth Christmas

Merchants must ensure Christmas shopping is convenient, and that this extends to the payment process. Being mobile-centric, offering alternative payment options such as the ability to pay later, and enabling one-click repeat purchases will yield dividends.

With stress levels high pre-Christmas, it’s no surprise that finding the right present is a major concern for shoppers. But, despite visiting an average of seven online retailers, 11 high street shops and spending an exhausting 7.2 hours Christmas shopping, it seems consumers are not always getting it right  – more than half (57%) of people surveyed have been stuck with unwanted gifts they couldn’t return.

Allowing customers to ‘try before they pay’ could assuage fears around unwanted gifts. This could help tempt people into taking a gamble on a gift as it removes the worry consumers may have about needing to return multiple items, as shoppers only pay once they’re happy with their purchase.

How to win over stressed shoppers

Retailers need to be thoughtful to win over customers who are being bombarded with messages, and are flitting through many retailers both online and offline. Enabling convenient payment processes can be a key point of difference for merchants.

Letting customers delay the costs of present buying could help them make it through the purchase journey, with a fifth of consumers saying this would make Christmas shopping smoother for them. Consumers are no longer willing to head to one store for all their shopping. Instead, they’re hunting down the best deals and the most thoughtful gifts. Anything that makes online shopping easier for busy consumers will be a win for retailers.

Luke Griffiths, UK General Manager, Klarna, explains: “This research shows that the online customer journey at Christmas is fraught and can be easily fractured by a stressful moment. Retailers must be aware of this and invest in their user experience to deliver a smooth customer journey – from the first moment a customer spots your product to when it is sitting under the Christmas tree. Payments are often forgotten in the festive rush towards marketing and discounting. We want to help retailers offer their customers a smooth festive season with our payment solutions, including Pay later and Slice it. Being aware of stress levels and worries about gift buying helps retailers win over customers that are unsure about a gift or struggling with finances, to spread the cost.”
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