70% Brits abandon online shopping carts

By James Critchley

Despite internet shopping being more popular in the UK than any other major country (Ofcom’s International Communications Market Report in 2012), it seems it’s still good to talk. New research (Survey conducted by One Poll in June 2013 of a national representative of 2,000 online shoppers) shows that over one in five people abandon online transactions because they are unable to easily speak to someone on the phone.

The independent survey of 2,000 online shoppers, commissioned by cloud.IQ; shows that 23% of consumers backed out of a purchase as they were unable to speak to the retailer. Overall, seven in ten UK internet shoppers abandon sites prior to purchase, with women 7% more likely to abandon an online shop than men.

When it comes to bigger ticket items (valued at £50 plus), over half of online consumers (52%) say they are more likely to complete their purchase if the retailer offered to call them for free. Surprisingly, this number rises to two thirds for digital natives, who clearly still place an importance on direct contact with the retailer.

With Britons spending on average £1,000 each year (Ofcom’s International Communications Market Report in 2012) online, it’s crucial retailers make it as easy as possible for consumers to get in touch. People want to do business with people. The reality is that even when we’re buying stuff online – and particularly something that costs more than a few quid – we usually want to talk to someone as part of the transaction. It’s worrying that many retailers fail to offer this option.

‘Callback’ buttons allow online retailers to place a button on their site that customers can hit when they want to speak to someone, maybe because they’re experiencing issues using a site or simply want to ask some questions. The Callback button then automates the Callback process – connecting an agent to the customer at no cost to the consumer. Crucially, it will do this immediately (or schedule for the next working day if the enquiry is out of hours) and will keep trying until a connection is made.

With the use of a Callback button, the responsibility of contact falls back to the retailer. Agents can listen to customers’ needs and concerns and pitch accordingly. They ensure the customer receives a response quickly – before they get the chance to browse to a competitor site. By putting in that extra effort, retailers can expect to see less shopping carts abandoned and a real improvement in sales conversions.

About the author and cloud.IQ

James Critchley is CEO of cloud.IQ. cloud.IQ is a provider of cloud-based integrated marketing applications. Our technology has been developed using experience gained from over 10 years of delivering cutting edge digital marketing solutions to the world’s leading brands. Our applications are affordable and easy to use; helping companies acquire more customers, convert more opportunities and engage and build customer value and loyalty. We are backed by Bridges Ventures, a private investment firm and we have offices in London and Sydney.


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