State of Online Retail CX and How Businesses Can Thrive During Retail Crisis
Mobile commerce continues to grow as consumers abandon traditional brick-and-mortar stores in favor of online shopping. The current retail crisis has created a real demand for speed, convenience and optimization in e-commerce, and in response, retailers are increasingly leveraging technology capabilities creating new ways to engage with consumers and boost satisfaction levels.
A new study published by address verification company Addressy, State of Customer Experience in Online Checkouts, shows there’s room for improvement when it comes to online retailers providing a seamless checkout experience for their customers. The data is the result of a collaboration with Internet Retailer and eHouse Studio, and demonstrates that improving user experience and data quality through type-ahead address verification will help online retailers gain confidence and long-term trust from their customers.
U.S.-based e-commerce companies still have work to do improving speed, accuracy and overall customer experience in their checkouts. In the study, type-ahead technology was tested against four other common address entry/verification formats found on retail websites. Currently, only six of the 100 leading online retail sites in the United States offer type-ahead verification, which is designed to improve the speed and accuracy of address entry. Contrast that number with the finding that 84 percent of U.S. consumers prefer seamless type-ahead address verification for their online shopping, demonstrating that consumers overwhelmingly prefer type-ahead over all the alternatives, believing it to be more accurate.
According to Forrester, online shopping cart abandonment reached a median rate of 66 percent in the U.S. Addressy's data shows that poor customer experience is one of the main reasons shoppers abandon their carts, and online retailers with seamless checkout rank higher when it comes to customer sentiment.
Furthermore, failed deliveries can be directly connected to clunky checkout interfaces. The ramifications of undelivered packages can have a negative effect on businesses, and delivering products error-free is vital to the success of online retailers. Last year, the USPS reported 6.8 billion items went undelivered as a result of poor online address verification, more than 4 percent of total mail volume. Delivering products on time is critical to the success of online retailers.
Online sporting goods retailer LeftLane Sports, for example, found that between 1.6 percent and 2 percent of orders were being delayed by address issues. In some cases, says Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Erik Fialho, customers were shipping orders to their workplaces so that packages wouldn't be sitting outside their doors at home all day. They may not know the workplace address as well as they do their own, or they may not know that packages must be addressed to the shipping department or mailroom at a different address. The problem for the retailer is that no matter who was at fault, the retailer will suffer the repercussions when an order doesn't arrive on time, states the report.
Retailers are witnessing a major shift from in-store to digital, and they should prepare themselves with valid address data verification tools.
Tom Mucklow is the head of partner development at Addressy.